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THE WEEK AHEAD

HELSINKI : Finland's 'EC-ization'

February 25, 1992

Freed of the influence of the Soviet bear and mired in its deepest recession since the 1930s, Finland is expected this week to join the parade of countries seeking entry into the European Community.

Following Austria and Sweden, Finland would be the third member of the European Free Trade Assn. to seek entry into the much larger, 12-nation EC. Norway is expected to follow suit later this year, and even traditionally aloof Switzerland is considering jumping from EFTA, an exclusively economic bloc, to the EC, whose agenda is moving from economic to political issues.

If all succeed, it would unite virtually all of Western Europe into an EC confederation of more than 370 million people, half again as big as the United States.

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