Cameron set for sweaty time in political sauna?

David Cameron and Alexander Stubb Image copyright AP

David Cameron is in Helsinki to attend a meeting of the Northern Future Forum which brings together the leaders of Nordic countries - Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway - together with the Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Iceland and the UK.

This is an important opportunity for the prime minister to test his ideas on how to limit EU immigration before delivering a major speech on the subject in the next few weeks.

It is also a chance to argue that Britain should not be expected to pay an additional £1.7bn into EU coffers on 1 December.

This may not get the warmest of receptions, since all the other EU states attending the summit are to get a rebate on their EU contributions.

When the argument emerged at the last EU summit Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb accused Mr Cameron of making "a mountain out of a molehill".

However, Mr Stubb was more conciliatory telling me that he accepted that a demand that big was "more a mountain than a molehill".

He added : "My message to everyone - Finn, Swede or Brit alike - is the EU is not an accounting exercise but these types of whacks of 2.1bn euros - I fully understand why it has become a problem."

On Wednesday the new president of the European Commission declared that he had no problem with Mr Cameron but that the British prime minister did have a problem with other prime ministers.

This summit may confirm that analysis. It is being held in what's called a "start-up sauna" at Helsinki's Aalto University. The signs are that, at least in private, the talks may get hot and sweaty for the prime minister.

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