Yeah, and Finland always features high up there in these international studies as being the least corrupt.

How in the world can Finnish politics allow for members of parliament, let alone a minister within the government, have a direct controlling interest in a business (actually a sitting board member) the same time they’re an elected official? This stinks.

Minister apologises, admits to misleading statements on Belgian tax planning company

Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lenita Toivakka has publicly apologised for misleading the Parliament by saying that she had nothing to do with establishing a Belgian holding company for a family business. Toivakka had previously accused SDP MP Timo Harakka of lying when he claimed that the family business had set up the holding company for tax planning purposes.

Lenita Toivakka.

Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lenita Toivakka. Image: Petteri Paalasmaa / AOP

On Thursday morning Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lenita Toivakka issued a public apology on MTV’s breakfast programme Good Morning Finland (Huomenta Suomi), saying that she had mislead the public by claiming that she was not involved in a family business when it set up a holding company in Belgium.

Toivakka’s climb-down followed statements by SDP MP Timo Harakka in Parliament Tuesday, when he accused Toivakka of involvement in setting up a holding company in Belgium for tax planning purposes. At the time Toivakka, who is a National Coalition MP, heatedly denied the claims and accused Harakka of lying to the Parliament. Toivakka insisted that she was not in any way personally involved in setting up the Belgian holding company.

However on Yle’s A-Studio current affairs discussion programme Wednesday night, Harakka repeated his claim that Toivakka had played a role in establishing the shadow company. He referenced Finnish corporate law to back up his allegations and produced a sheaf of documents, which he said proved “in black and white” that Toivakka did have a hand in the business.

More here.

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