Rehn: Labour dispute causing extensive damage to Finnish economy

The months-long dispute between Finland’s government and trade unions — that has seen a wave of political strikes since November — is causing extensive damage to the Finnish economy, according to Olli Rehn.

Rehn, who currently serves as Governor of the Bank of Finland, made his comments during an appearance on Yle TV1’s breakfast show on Saturday morning.

“It does look very bad. These industrial disputes and the spiralling confrontation are having wide-ranging negative effects on the Finnish economy. They are also reflected in the economic mood and confidence,” Rehn told the programme.

He further noted that the ongoing dispute could put the brakes on Finland’s economic recovery, which the Bank of Finland said earlier this week was projected to recover faster and sooner than expected — with growth expected to return next year.

“This situation is a significant risk to that growth,” Rehn said on Saturday morning.

The dispute centres around plans by the government, led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP), to introduce a series of labour market reforms aimed at improving Finland’s competitiveness — but which unions argue will weaken workers’ rights.

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