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Papers: Finnish PM has repaid majority of 'breakfastgate' expenses

Marin has paid more than two-thirds of the 14,000 euros she vowed to return following an outcry that taxpayers were paying for her breakfasts and cold meals, Uutissuomalainen reports.

Sanna Marin saapuu Pasilaan Ylen Studiotalolle.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP). Image: Benjamin Suomela / Yle

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has repaid more than 10,000 euros to the Finnish state for food benefits she and her family members received last year, according to newsgroup Uutissuomalainen.

The PM found herself at the centre of a controversy — which became known as 'breakfastgate' — over the meal benefit last spring, following a tabloid newspaper article reporting that breakfasts and cold meals eaten by Marin and her family had been paid for by taxpayers.

Finnish police opened a brief preliminary investigation into the matter, which was a question of more than 14,000 euros spent between January 2020 and May 2021. The controversy also prompted the country's President Sauli Niinistö to say it was good that the issue was being looked into.

At the time, police emphasised that the PM was not suspected of a crime, but said the probe would examine the actions of officials.

On Tuesday, Uutissuomalainen reported that Marin had paid back 10,143.41 euros for the year 2020 and that this year's share — just over 4,200 euros — would be paid back at the end of this month. The total sum, 14,363.20 euros, included VAT, according to the outlet.

Marin vowed to pay back the money at the end of May.

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