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Arms Company Revealed as Campaign Donor

Revelations about undisclosed campaign funding continue to emerge. On Sunday the Finnish News Agency STT reported that state-owned arms manufacturer Patria donated 16,000 euros in campaign funding ahead of the last parliamentary elections.

Jyri Häkämies
Jyri Häkämies Image: YLE

STT says that the defence contractor gave 6,000 euros to the conservative National Coalition Party. It did not say how much Patria gave to other parties.

Minister of Housing Jan Vapaavuori of the National Coalition, who is responsible for state ownership in Patria, says he did not know about the company's support for his party. The State owns three quarters of Patria shares.

The arms manufacturer has recently been embroiled in legal proceedings over alleged bribery related to materiel deals in Slovenia and Egypt.

The chair of the Transparency Finland organisation, Santeri Eriksson, warns that there are always risks involved in corporate support for political parties or candidates -- especially when such funding is kept secret.

On Saturday, STT reported that the Sampo financial group donated 75,000 euros to the National Coalition Party between 2006 and 2007. Sampo is also partly state-owned.

Another conservative party minister, Jyri Häkämies, who oversees all state ownership in corporations, told YLE he does not see any problem in state-owned firms giving money to political parties or candidates -- or that most of it seems to have been directed toward his party.

Meanwhile YLE revealed that several large utility companies helped finance the political campaigns of popular politicians:

Utilities Helped Power Political Campaigns (siirryt toiseen palveluun)

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