Finland has no intention of footing the bill to cover the debt of other countries in the eurozone, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen says.
"Collective responsibility for other countries' debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for," Urpilainen told financial daily Kauppalehti in an interview on Friday.
The newspaper interpreted her comments as an indication Finland would consider leaving the eurozone instead of agreeing to pay down the debt of other countries in the currency bloc.
"Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and (is) prepared for all scenarios," Kauppalehti wrote.
Urpilainen's spokesman, Matti Hirvola, rejected that interpretation, telling AFP: "All claims that Finland would leave the euro are simply false."
Urpilainen herself said in Friday's interview: "Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland."
However, amid the bloc's deepening debt crisis, she told Kauppalehti Finland, one of only a few EU countries to still enjoy a triple-A credit rating, would not accept an integration model where countries are collectively responsible for member states' debts and risks.
She also insisted that a proposed banking union would not work if it was based on joint liability.
Urpilainen told the Helsingin Sanomat daily Finland "represents a tough line" on eurozone bailouts.
"We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms."
As part of its stance, Finland will negotiate with Spain next week to obtain collateral in exchange for taking part in a bailout for ailing Spanish banks.
And last year, Finland created a significant stumbling block for the eurozone's second rescue package for Greece, only agreeing to take part after striking a collateral deal with Athens in October 2011.
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