Finland police probe PM Marin’s monthly breakfast expenditure

Finland’s police on Friday announced they were investigating Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s monthly expenditure on meals, after a tabloid reported her family’s breakfast was being illegally subsidised using taxpayer’s money.

According to a report by Iltalehti, Marin has been claiming around 300 euros every month for breakfast at her official residence in Helsinki, Kesaranta. However, insisting she was not breaking any rules, Marin said the same perk was also enjoyed by her predecessors, AFP reported.

“As prime minister I have not asked for this benefit nor been involved in deciding on it,” she tweeted.

Following a request to probe the allegation, Finland police on Friday announced a pre-trial investigation into what could possibly be a public-office offence. “The prime minister has been reimbursed for some meals, even though the wording of the law on ministerial remuneration does not appear to permit this,” the police said in a statement.

Responding to news of the investigation, Marin said she would stop claiming the benefit while the allegations are being looked into. She stated that all official expenses were made by the Prime Minister’s Office and its employees, and not by her personally.

“As Prime Minister, I have not requested a meal allowance or participated in the decision. When I took up my post, I have been told that this includes living and staying at Kesäranta, and that this has also been the case for previous prime ministers,” she tweeted.

“It is good that the procedure is being clarified. I have relied on the information and guidance I have received from the officials. I have not made the purchases myself, but all the purchases have been made by the office and employees of the Prime Minister’s Office,” she added.

Marin came to power in 2019, and has since enjoyed considerable public support. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out last year, her centre-left coalition was praised widely for maintaining some of the lowest infection rates in Europe.

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