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Home NATIONALVapaavuori bids for post of EIB director
Sat, 31 Jan, 2015 02:21:03 AM
FTimes-Xinhua-STT Report, Jan 31
Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori. File Photo Lehtikuva.
Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori on Friday confirmed his candidacy for the post of director at the European Investment Bank (EIB), a position mandated for Finland, reported Xinhua.
This means the high-profile Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) politician could leave for Luxembourg with parliamentary elections less than three months away. Local analysts see the move by Vapaavuori as a serious loss to the Party.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb on Friday has said the possible appointment of Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori to the position of Deputy Director-General at the European Investment Bank would be in the interest of both the country and the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party), reported STT.
Vapaavuori dismissed the view that his departure was connected with the declining support of the party.
A poll commissioned by national broadcaster Yle on Thursday placed the Kansallinen Kokoomus at third place. It is possible that the largest party in the current parliament will end up in opposition after the elections in April and a centre-left cabinet is formed instead, according to the poll.
In the 2011 election, Vapaavuori got the second largest number of votes on the conservative ticket in the Helsinki constituency.
During his tenure in the cabinet, he was associated with the arrangements that secured the future of producing cruisers in Finland as the state became a minority shareholder in the Turku shipyard when it was purchased by the German company Meyer Werft.
In June last year, Vapaavuori ran for the position of party chairman but lost in the vote. Alexander Stubb was elected and thus became Finnish prime minister.
Vapaavuori said on Friday that Stubb supported his plans. He said he would not run for re-election in parliament, but would campaign for the party.
The previous Finnish director at the EIB during the period 2003-2007, Sauli Niinisto, is the current Finnish president.
Vapaavuori did not exclude a return to Finnish politics upon completion of his term in Luxembourg.
The Finnish mandate for a director at the bank is alternating in a rotation with Sweden and Austria. The EIB is the EU's non-profit, long-term lending institution.
News Agency STT adds: The Prime Minister speaking at a party meeting in Oulu expressed his complete support to Vapaavuori.
According to Stubb, international portfolios require accomplished Finns.
The premier also revealed that Vapaavuori will continue in his capacity as the Minister Economic Affairs and would be strongly involved in the NCP election campaigns.
The premier expressed no concern that Vapaavuori possible departure will lead to drop of NCP popularity.
Vapaavuori announced on Friday that he will not contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections, if he is appointed as the Deputy Director General whose tenure begins in autumn.
Vapaavuori stressed that he was not going anywhere in the midst of his current duties.
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