On Sunday, the prime minister spoke to reporters on topics ranging from rising costs of living to harassment.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told reporters on Sunday that she was not interested in running as a candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
“I’ll tell you straight, I won’t be available,” she said.
A Yle poll in 2019 indicated that Marin was the favorite to become Finland’s next president. His support for the post has since dropped, with more recent surveys showing the Governor of the Bank of Finland Olli Rehn leading the polls as the most likely winner of Finland’s next presidential election.
Cost of living crisis
The prime minister said rising food and fuel prices were hitting Finns, adding that the inflationary environment was unlikely to end soon.
Marin said any possible tax cuts would target low- and middle-income earners. She noted that efforts were underway to address accelerating fuel costs.
Marin said the European economy was struggling with inflation and Finland was still doing “relatively well”.
The Ministry of Finance warned that economic growth is slowing and inflation is accelerating more than expected.
Knock on NATO’s door
Marin also weighed in on Turkey’s opposition to Finnish and Swedish NATO membership. She said there was little Finland and Sweden could do to get things done if Turkey wanted to hold them hostage.
“There should be no obstacles to our joining,” she said, adding that most NATO members would like to see the Turkey issue resolved by the NATO summit in Madrid scheduled for end of June.
Marin also said it was important for Finland to be able to close its eastern border in case Russia directs asylum seekers to the border in a bid to destabilize the country.
“We need to be able to close all the checkpoints on the eastern border and centralize the processing of asylum claims in another location,” she explained.
Besides Ukraine and Moldova, Marin said Finland also supports granting EU candidate status to North Macedonia and Albania.
“There are no shortcuts to EU membership, but these countries could start membership talks,” she said.
Harassment, paparazzi and privacy
Marin also reacted to claims published by Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday alleging improper behavior by National Coalition Party MP Wille Rydman.
She said she was shocked by the report but said she was unaware of the details of the case.
The Prime Minister said she had experienced harassment as a young woman and stressed the importance of raising public awareness of these issues.
“I believe this is a common experience for young women, unfortunately. I have also faced inappropriate behavior in different political offices,” she told reporters.
Sunday’s interview also touched on the paparazzi-style photo taken of Marin which led an anonymous individual to file a complaint with the Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN).
“It would be fine for me to be treated as a private person in my free time, but I understand that as a public person I may be photographed and those images may be released, even if they are in poor taste,” she said. .
Marin also stressed that her four-year-old’s privacy should be respected.
“It’s a matter of security,” she said.