| 10.1°C Dublin

Finland vote puts Europe bailouts in jeopardy

Finnish voters have dealt a blow to Europe's plans to rescue Portugal and other debt-ridden economies, ousting the pro-bailout government and giving a major boost to a eurosceptic nationalist party.

With all ballots counted, the biggest vote-winner was the conservative National Coalition Party, part of the outgoing centre-right government and a strong advocate for European integration.

But its main ally, the Centre Party led by Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, said it would drop out of the government after falling behind two opposition parties that have challenged eurozone bailouts.

The anti-immigration and staunchly eurosceptic True Finns don't see why Finland should rescue Europe's "squanderers", while the Social Democrats have called for changes to how they are funded.

The outcome means conservative leader Jyrki Katainen will have to invite at least one of them to coalition talks, raising questions about Finland's support for rescue packages that need unanimous approval in the 17-member eurozone.

"This result will give Europe grey hairs," political analyst Olavi Borg said. "It will cause them problems over the bailout funds."