Uniper Woes Trigger Confidence Motions for Finnish Government

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Finland’s government is coming under heavy pressure over taxpayer money flowing to Germany as part of the bailout of Uniper SE, a unit of Finnish utility Fortum Oyj.

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The government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin faces two motions of no-confidence in the country’s parliament, filed on Tuesday by all opposition parties. While the motions will spark a debate in parliament and add to pressure on Marin’s administration, the five-party coalition is likely to survive thanks to a majority in the legislature.

The opposition berated ministers for what it said was a failure to adequately oversee the state’s majority stake in Fortum and sought clarity about who in the government approved 8 billion euros ($8 billion) in loans and guarantees made to its German subsidiary last winter.

“German plans to nationalize Uniper are going to lead to losses of 10 billion euros to 15 billion euros in a bad, but likely scenario,” Riikka Purra, leader of the opposition Finns Party, said in an emailed statement, adding that’s as much as a quarter of the state’s 2022 budget.

Opposition lawmakers also called on Marin to step in.

“I expected especially the prime minister to take a stronger role in this issue,” said Kai Mykkanen, a member of parliament for the center-right National Coalition.

“Uniper is about billions of euros worth of Finnish holdings -- both the state and private shareholders,” he added. “The government shouldn’t just accept Germany treating a Finnish company unfairly.”

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