Published August 16, 2012
European leaders must prepare for the looming break up of the euro zone, Finland's foreign minister, Erkki Tuomioja, said in the Daily Telegraph on Friday.
Tuomioja said Finnish officials have prepared for the break up of the single currency with an "operational plan for any eventuality."
"There are no rules on how to leave the euro, but it is only a matter of time. Either the south or the north will break away because this currency straitjacket is causing misery for millions and destroying Europe's future," Tuomioja is quoted as saying.
"It is a total catastrophe. We are going to run out of money the way we are going. But nobody in Europe wants to be first to get out of the euro and take all the blame," he said.
Tuomioja, a veteran minister in one of the euro zone's four AAA-rated countries, said the break up of the euro could make the European Union stonger.
"It is not something that anybody is advocating in Finland, let alone the government. But we have to be prepared. The break up of the euro does not mean the end of the European Union. It could make the EU function better," he said.
Finland, which has a veto that could be used to block any new bailout measures, has insisted on collateral from both Greece and Spain in exchange for rescue loans.