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Stubb in CNBC interview: "The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry"

Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has made headlines in the international media in recent days. In his latest encounter on Monday, he spoke to US broadcaster CNBC, pointing the finger of blame at tech giant Apple for the downfall of two of Finland’s biggest industries.

Pääministeri Alexander Stubb.
Pääministeri Alexander Stubb. Image: Marja Väänänen

Describing Nokia and the Finnish paper industry as “two champions that went down”, the Finnish Prime Minister nonetheless adopted an optimistic tone with regards to the future of Finnish industry.

“A little bit paradoxically I guess one could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Stubb said in the CNBC interview.

Nokia's devices and services business was bought out by US firm Microsoft in April this year at a time when the former front runner was feeling the brunt of a long struggle to maintain market share against rivals Apple and Samsung.

Again endeavouring to remain upbeat in response to questions regarding Standard and Poor’s recent downgrading of Finland’s credit status, Prime Minister Stubb urged the nation to simply “keep at it.”

"Usually what happens is that when you have dire times you get a lot of innovation, and I think from the public sector our job is to create the platform for it," he said.

Who's to blame?

The interview has sparked debate across the blogosphere, with many saying that the PM has now made an enemy of Apple.

Indeed, it’s not the first tome that Alexander Stubb has been called up on his pithy comments on the issue. In July the premier told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri that Steve Jobs “took our jobs.”

The Finnish Prime Minister has been gaining some other international press of late, although not all of it paints Finland in a favourable light.

US financial analyst Bloomberg also ran a piece on the Finnish Prime Minister on Sunday. Quoting PM Stubb’s interview with Radio Finland the same weekend, in which he said reform – not waiting for growth – was the key to resolving the nation’s financial difficulties, the piece highlighted Finland’s slide from a model of fiscal policy to its emergence as one of the weakest economies in Northern Europe.

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