Estonian minister mocks Sanna Marin

Estonia's interior minister Mart Helme of the far-right party Ekre mocked the humble origins of Finland's new prime minister Sanna Marin and other members of the government in the neighbouring country. Helme's remarks were not only in poor taste but also foolish, journalists say.

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Õhtuleht (EE) /

So these are the values ​​of Estonia's government

According to Õhtuleht the incident reveals the true nature of the centre-right coalition:

“Ekre leader Mart Helme later added that his statement [about uneducated people in the Finnish government] wasn't meant as an insult, but as praise. Whether or not you call that an apology, it doesn't change the reality of the situation. These are the common values of the government that Prime Minister Jüri Ratas chose. Nothing else needs to be added, that says it all. But wait! It's worth considering which country will benefit if relations between Estonia and Finland turn sour.”

Duma (BG) /

Helme hurt his own interests

Helme has gone too far, comments Duma:

“Mart Helme scored an own goal by criticising the new Finnish Prime Minister's humble background because she had to earn her keep at the age of 15. ... The leader of the Conservative People's Party Ekre also shocked his fellow citizens with his comments. … Tallinn is now concerned that Sanna Marin, a former sales assistant, will respond in kind and that the whole affair will take a toll on bilateral relations. Is a minister who is capable of making such remarks at all still viable?”

Savon Sanomat (FI) /

A disservice to the Finnish brother party

The Finnish right-wing populists will keep their distance from Ekre in future, Savon Sanomat suspects:

“Marin elegantly converted the attack into a victory. She has declared that she is proud of Finland, where a child from a poor family can attain high qualifications and a cashier can become prime minister. ... Helme probably thought he was helping his Finnish brother party The Finns, but this nonsense was too much even for them. For example Riikka Purra, a member of parliament for The Finns, supported Marin by saying that all politicians should have experience of physical labour. Helme's extreme remarks are a continuation of his flirting with Nazism. The Finns will probably distance themselves from their embarrassing Estonian friend.”