PUBLISHED: 11:43, Wed, Oct 7, 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45, Wed, Oct 7, 2020
At the end of summer, EU leaders struck a deal on a huge coronavirus recovery package after days of bitter talks. The €750billion (£668billion) coronavirus fund will be used as loans and grants to the countries hit hardest by the virus. The remaining money represents the EU budget for the next seven years.
The talks began with a divide emerging between the hardest hit nations and those intent on a more "frugal" package of measures.
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Austria all pushed back on an initial package of grants worth €500billion (£450billon), reportedly causing French President Emmanuel Macron to bang his fists in anger.
Despite all coming to an agreement in the end, there already seems to be serious bumps on the road.
The youth wing of Finland's Finns Party has organised a successful petition for a referendum on the EU's stimulus package, threatening the stability of the bloc.
Brexit domino effect: Finland threatens Brussels with bombshell EU referendum (Image: Verkkomedia Perussuomalaiset / GETTY)
EU summit on the Recovery Fund (Image: GETTY)
In just five days, the group obtained enough signatures for the petition to move to the next level.
Since 2012, any citizens’ initiative that collects at least 50,000 certified signatures from Finnish citizens must be considered by the legislature.
While the petition acknowledges that the recovery fund is justified due to the economic collapse, it argues that its “effects reach significantly further and more broadly than warranted by the coronavirus crisis".
It added that the package is a “highly significant entity from a national standpoint, whose economic and societal impacts require broad approval from the people”.
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Finns Party Youth chairman Asseri Kinnunen (Image: Verkkomedia Perussuomalaiset)
Finland, whose economy has so far weathered the storm better than most countries in the EU, is responsible for €6.6billion (£6.01billion) of the grants.