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    'Fixit' Nears? Rebel Finnish Heavyweight About to Start Own Anti-EU Party

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    Growing fears of a "Fixit," or Finland's departure from the EU and the Eurozone have been strengthened as Paavo Väyrynen, former foreign minister and time-honored political heavyweight, is about to register his own Citizens' Party, which is both anti-EU and anti-euro.

    The Citizen's Party lists Finland's independence and neutrality, a sensible migration policy as well as a balanced development of the country as its top priorities.

    First and foremost, however, the party plans to raise the question of Finland's membership in the EU and the Eurozone, as Väyrynen himself has been a consistent critic of the European Union and an ardent supporter of Finland's financial and military independence.

    Earlier this year, Väyrynen argued that Finland had no time to waste and encouraged a prompt withdrawal from the monetary union, which he deemed largely detrimental for Finland's economy.

    Last summer, Väyrynen, formerly a key figure in the Center Party who has held a number of minister portfolios, engineered a citizens' initiative on a referendum, questioning the country's membership in the Eurozone, which is going to be considered by the parliament at some point this year.

    Last year, the petition demanding Finland's withdrawal from the Eurozone gathered over 50,000 signatures in record time. Väyrynen argued that Finland had suffered greatly from its membership in the Eurozone, which had resulted in sluggish growth with several consecutive years of recession.

    Väyrynen, whose parliamentary career spans several decades, has been a steadfast opponent of the EU ever since Finland started negotiating its membership.

    In January 2016, Väyrynen, a long-standing Center Party heavyweight, announced his plans leave all board positions in the Center Party. He stated that he was no longer able to affect the decision making process and criticized current Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and his cabinet, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.

    Remarkably, Väyrynen also expressed support for the "Paasikivi line," named after Finland's post-war president Juho Paasikivi. This strategy revolves around the idea of Finland taking care of its own security through non-alignment and neutrality.

    At this stage, the management board of the nascent Citizens' Party encompasses three people: Väyrynen himself, his wife Vuokko and Master of Political Science Sakari Linden, who is also the executive director of the Association of Finnish Culture and Identity.

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    Tags:
    European Union, Eurozone, Paavo Vayrynen, Scandinavia, Finland
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