July 26, 2021

Prime Minister’s breakfast scandal shakes Finland

No, the Finnish taxpayer did not pay a penny for the wedding of Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, who married the father of her daughter on the 1is August 2020. In a tweet, published Monday, May 31, the head of the Social Democrats, who became the youngest head of government in the world in December 2019, assures us that the couple has paid everything out of his pocket, “Including food, drinks, staff, flowers, decorations, photographer and music”. As for her hairstyle and makeup, Sanna Marin took care of it herself, ” like everyday “, she specifies.

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This reframing occurs in the middle of “aamiaisgate”, the scandal of the costs of breakfast: a storm in a glass of water seen from abroad, but which comes to interfere with the electoral campaign for the Finnish Social Democratic Party (given in second position behind the far right), two weeks before the municipal elections, which will be held on June 13 in Finland. The opening of a preliminary investigation, Friday, May 28, only amplified the controversy, even if the police specified that they were interested in the actions of the officials and not in Sanna Marin personally.

The scandal erupted on May 25. The tabloid Evening paper reveals that the breakfasts, consumed by the family, installed in Kesäranta, the official residence of the Prime Minister by the sea in Helsinki, were financed by public money. This would amount to a total of 300 euros per month, on which Sanna Marin should have paid taxes at a minimum. Because, according to the law, the head of government has the right to official accommodation, “Whose maintenance, heating and lighting, as well as the interior decoration, and the necessary personnel, are supported and remunerated by public funds”. But not a word about the meals.

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“Clarification of the rules”

The newspaper recalls that even the president, Sauli Niinistö, pays for his meals. On Facebook, the wife of former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, also a Social Democrat, described the revelations as “Shocking” and assured that, while her husband was in charge of the government, from 1995 to 2003, she had “Does the housework, cooks food and does the laundry – all by herself”.

Another subject of controversy: the refusal of the Prime Minister’s services to present the invoices, for security reasons. The shopping is done in a single store, too easy to identify, according to those around Sanna Marin. When the journalists asked to see the receipts, they therefore obtained only encrypted documents, in violation of the law on access to public information.

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