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Kulmuni took out loan to repay ministries for media training

The Centre chair, who quit as finance minister amid a furore over consultancy fees, says she has now paid for them.

Keskustan puheenjohtaja Katri Kulmuni saapui eduskunnan täysistuntoon Helsingissä 23. kesäkuuta.
Katri Kulmuni in Parliament on 23 June. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Centre Party chair Katri Kulmuni says she has voluntarily repaid two state ministries for pricey public appearance coaching. The consultancy fees, totalling over 50,000 euros, caused an uproar when they were revealed. That led to Kulmuni's resignation as finance minister nearly a month ago.

Kulmuni said in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon that she had repaid the sums to the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The ministries later confirmed to Yle that they had been informed of the payments.

Kulmuni says she took out a personal loan in order to recompense the state for the fees.

"Today I have, in accordance with my earlier announcement and without any legal obligation, paid an amount corresponding to the invoices related to my public appearance training to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Finance," Kulmuni wrote in her post.

"I made the payment as soon as I could arrange a personal loan to do so, and receive the specific payment instructions," she continued.

She said that she made the payments at her own initiative.

"Shocked" to hear of costs of training

"As far as I know, there is nothing that would require any further steps based on my own behaviour," Kulmuni wrote.

Last month a Ministry of Economic Affairs audit named her former special adviser Kari Jääskeläinen as the subject of further investigation and action regarding his role in arranging the training.

The Centre leader added that she was "shocked" when she read about the costs of the training sessions. They were led by a high-priced consultant with close ties to her party, rather than one of two communications firms held on retainer by her ministry.

Some of the training coincided with her successful bid for the party leadership last autumn, to replace former PM Juha Sipilä. Kulmuni is seeking re-election for another term in September, even though she is no longer a cabinet minister.

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