Minister to repay €50,000 media training money

Although the Ministry of Finance found there had been no irregularities, and all correct procedures had been carried out correctly, Katri Kulmuni says she understands the criticism.

File picture of Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni (Centre) at government press briefing, 20th March 2020 / Credit: Laura Kotila, VNK

Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni (Centre) is to repay more than €50,000 invoiced to two ministries for media training.

Suomen Kuvalehti first reported that Kulmuni had received the training from a company called Tekir Oy, first during the period when she was Minister for Economic Affairs in Antti Rinne’s government from June 2019; and later as Minister of Finance in Sanna Marin’s government from December the same year.

Tekir markets itself as a strategic communications and public affairs firm, offering “bespoke media training” for clients and other services like political analysis and public affairs strategies. Kulmuni apparently needed help to become a more confident public speaker.

Now Lapland MP Kulmuni says she “understands the criticism” of her training sessions – which focused on whether the invoices should more appropriately be paid by her political party – and wants to reimburse the ministry.

“There are no legal or administrative problems with the agreement” Kulmuni notes.

Earlier on Wednesday the ministry released details of the legal assessment of the contracts which were signed for Kulmuni’s training with Tekir.

In a statement, the ministry concludes “there are no legal or administrative ambiguities in the agreements. Acquisitions have been made in accordance with the procuerment instructions.”