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Ex-PM Katainen rules out return to politics

Jyrki Katainen said that he is ‘not interested’ in returning to the political limelight.

Jyrki Katainen
Jyrki Katainen Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Former Prime Minister and European Commissioner and current head of state innovation fund Sitra Jyrki Katainen said on Saturday he was ‘not interested’ in a return to politics.

"I’ve been able to do interesting work in politics in Finland and elsewhere," said Katainen on Yle’s interview show Ykkösaamu. "I’m concentrating not on building the future in Sitra."

"I also want a slightly different kind of life. I liked my work in different political roles, but now there’s no way back to that. Not in any role."

Katainen secured his current job as head of Sitra via a narrow vote of the directors of the fund, which has an annual budget of 30 million euros per year.

He beat future researcher Markku Wilenius by one vote to secure the position, and started at the fund in January.

After leaving his job as Prime Minister in 2014 he had become Finland’s Commissioner in Brussels.

He added that he was concerned about a discussion culture in Finland, in which almost everything is questioned.

"We’re in a situation where the tail is wagging the dog," said Katainen. "An aggressive minority dominates debate."

Katainen said he hoped for a ‘moderate uprising’ in response, to keep the country on a moderate path.

"That would certainly make it easier for decision-makers to do the right things," said the North Savo native.

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