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Thu, 11 Apr, 2013 02:37:52 AM
FTimes-STT Report, April 11


Lack of competitiveness is a major threat for the Finland economy, observed the European Commission on Wednesday.
The EC made the remark while announcing in Brussels an intense analysis of 13 economies, including that of Finland, as it has for long been sensing signs of economic imbalance in the 13 countries.
In Finland, wages have been rising faster than productivity, which could be a reason for its economy facing the threat, pointed out the commission.
European Union Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn talks to the media during a press conference at the EU Commission headquarter in Brussels, on April 10, 2013. The European Commission warned Wednesday that Spain and Slovenia pose the biggest economic risks at present and must quickly tackle excessive imbalances, giving them just weeks to show they can deliver the changes needed. Photo AFP-Lehtikuva
“Finland has lost its competitiveness quite quickly in the recent years, which is reflected in the fact that both trade and the current account have slipped into deficit since 2011. Finland is the only ex-economic surplus which has turned into a deficit,” said EC Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn. 
He called on Helsinki to keep watch on private and public indebtedness, which had accelerated over the recent years.
According to a BBC report, the European Commission has warned that Spain and Slovenia must tackle the imbalances in their economies quickly. Spain has already had its banking system bailed out and Slovenia is widely presumed to be the next to ask for a debt rescue. 
The commission called on Spain to initiate a “decisive” reforms programme by the end of this month.
The imbalances in debt, unemployment, and growth have been doing long-term damage, with more than half of under-25s unable to find a job, said the commission.
“Our (EU) citizens are still paying the price for the unchecked development of imbalances in the past,” it said in a statement, added the BBC report.
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