Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre Party) strongly disputes that the decision to fund state-owned Terrafame, formerly Talvivaara, was influenced in any way by the possibility that a company owned by his relatives might receive a substantial order. Yle reported on Friday that Katera Steel, which is owned by Sipilä’s uncles and cousins, received a substantial order (estimated to be close to half a million euros) from Terrafame.
“That this kind of an insinuation would even cross someone’s mind says more about the person asking the question -- it would never cross my mind,” writes Sipilä in his blog. According to Sipilä the decision to invest millions of additional euros of taxpayers' money into the Talvivaara mine was seen to be more sensible than shutting down the mine, which has already cost taxpayers millions more.
Sipilä stressed that Katera Steel received the order through consulting firm Pöyry’s competitive bidding process.
Sipilä says that he was completely unaware of the invitation to tender or the winner.
”I don’t have any information on the company’s business, and I can’t ask all of my relatives to not work because I’m the Prime Minister,” he wrote his blog.
Sipilä did not respond to Yle's requests for comment immediately. In his blog, Sipilä explains this was because he felt he was not given enough time to respond.
26.11. 9:20: Sipilä's unavailability for comment added.