Selin ATAY-TDO-Estonia apologized to Finland on Monday after Estonia’s interior minister mocked Finland’s new prime minister — the world’s youngest-serving government leader — as “a sales girl” and questioned her ability to run the Nordic country.
Mart Helme, 70, Estonian interior minister and leader of the populist far-right party Ekre, on Sunday ridiculed Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, 34, and her government.
“Now we see how one sales girl has become a prime minister and how some other street activists and non-educated people have also joined the cabinet,” Helme said on his party’s radio talk show.
His comments prompted the opposition to call for his resignation, while Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid asked Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto to pass on her apologies to Marin and her government.
Social Democrat Marin, who has spoken about growing up in a disadvantaged family, worked as a cashier before studying at university and embarking on a political career. “I’m extremely proud of Finland. Here a poor family’s child can educate themselves and achieve their goals in life. A cashier can become even a prime minister,” Marin wrote on Twitter.