Interior minister to ERR journalist: 'It is you who are offending Finland'

Interior minister Mart Helme questioned by ERR's Tiina Jaakson on Monday.
Interior minister Mart Helme questioned by ERR's Tiina Jaakson on Monday. Source: ERR

Interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) told ERR's Tiina Jaakson that he had not said anything to offend Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin.

"I did not offend anyone. You have insulted the people of Finland with your reports and articles. You have made a mountain out of a molehill. I have nothing more to say to you," Helme told Jaakson, accompanied by an Aktuaalne kaamera crew, as he emerged from the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Riigikogu group office.

Helme also expressed the view that public broadcaster ERR was damaging Estonia's image, and appeared to shove Jaakson aside before leaving.

The Aktuaalne kaamera video clip of the encounter is here.

Ratas: Definitely an insult

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), whose party is in coalition with EKRE, said that Helme's words on Sunday – where he referred to Marin, who became prime minister last week, as a "cashier", adding that the current Finnish coalition consisted of "reds" intent on turning the country into an EU province – were "certainly" an insult.

Ratas added there was no justification for Helme's words, adding it was not the government's position. 

"The government does not set any store by it. I am also preparing for a telephone conversation with the Finnish Prime Minister," Ratas added.

Ratas and Marin met just last Thursday at a European Commission meeting in Brussels, where he presented her with a bouquet to congratulate her on her new role.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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