HELSINKI – Foreign minister under scrutiny

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto of the Greens is subject to investigations led by the parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, and by the Prosecutor General in cooperation with the police.

Although Haavisto has been leading the polls to become Finland’s next president and has received backing from the PM and his party chair, he is now being investigated for having fired a senior minister official who had refused to repatriate Finnish children and women from the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria.

These investigations highlight the somewhat grey area between political ambitions and the legal framework within which a civil servant is obliged to operate.

The senior ministry official at the centre of the investigations against the foreign minister has argued that he decided against repatriation because it would have been unlawful, adding that it was something that should have been decided first at a political level.

The two investigations will shed light on whether this was a case of poor staff management, or whether the minister broke the law. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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