Science and Culture Minister Annika Saarikko will take over Matti Vanhanen’s finance portfolio next week, reports agricultural newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus on Saturday.
The transition will officially occur next Wednesday, when Saarikko will nominate herself at a party meeting.
In a joint interview, Vanhanen and Saarikko told MT that this was an optimal time for a switch, as Vanhanen had concluded difficult budget negotiations, giving Saarikko the opportunity to put the spending plan into action.
"Everyone knows that I’ve wanted Matti to stay in the job as long as he likes...but now we’ve reached the point that it's moving on to me," Saarikko said.
A replacement for Saarikko's science and culture portfolio will also be on Wednesday’s meeting agenda. Saarikko said she had been grateful for the opportunity to prepare for the post, noting the transition had been in the works since she was elected as party leader last year.
Yle News' All Points North podcast talked to Annika Saarikko ealier this spring.
You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.
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Vanhanen returns to legislature
When Vanhanen replaced Katri Kulmuni as Finance Minister last year (who resigned over a 50,000-euro bill for consultancy services), he emphasised that his appointment would be temporary.
The former PM is now set to return to Parliament as a rank-and-file MP. Vanhanen has had a colourful career in Finnish politics. He became Prime Minister in June 2003 but resigned from the position, and quit politics, mid-way through his second term as PM in 2010, citing knee surgery as the reason for his decision. However a series of personal and party scandals, related to campaign funding irregularities and improper conduct, had engulfed the politician once voted by readers of a women’s magazine as "Finland’s sexiest man (siirryt toiseen palveluun)."