Finnish parliament backs EU recovery plan

Members of the Finnish Parliament attend a debate for the EU COVID-19 recovery plan during a session in Helsinki, Finland May 12, 2021. Lehtikuva/Emmi Korhonen/via REUTERS

HELSINKI, May 18 (Reuters) - Finland's parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of the European Union's 750 billion euro ($916 billion) COVID-19 recovery plan, according to an official tally.

The legislation, which had required support from at least two thirds of votes cast, was passed with 134 members of parliament voting in favour, 57 against and eight abstentions.

The vote had been delayed by a week after the nationalist and eurosceptic Finns party prolonged the parliament debate by speaking until the early hours of Saturday.

In April, parliament's constitutional law committee ruled the legislation required a two-thirds majority to pass which prompted the centre-left government to seek support from opposition parties.

Before Tuesday's vote in Helsinki, 18 out of the 27 EU member states had ratified the plan, a spokesperson for the EU executive told Reuters.

($1 = 0.8187 euros)

Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Terje Solsvik

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