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Who is the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin? Age, family, net worth, career...

Once the World’s youngest head of government, Marin has been the face of Finland as it negotiates its way to NATO membership.

Update:
Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin answers journalists' questions  in Kuopio, Finland.
MATIAS HONKAMAAGetty

Sanna Marin is the young prime minister of Finland. Aged just 34 at the time of her rise to power, she was the world’s youngest head of government until the victory of Gabriel Boric in Chile aged 36. Despite her young age for a politican, at least the the US, Marin has faced a number of serious challenges during her short time in power including covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Marin has been at the forefront of negotiaitons for Finland’s accession to NATO. The bid is in the final stages. “Our decision is historic,” she said. “As a member of NATO, we will also be responsible for the security of the alliance as a whole.”

But before she was catapulted into international recognition, there are a number of facts which make Marin an interesting and unique politician, especially in the context of an ageing and disfunctional US political class.

What is her background?

Coming from a modest background, Marin grew up with her mother and mother’s girlfirend after her parents divorced. She was elected to parliament in 2015 aged just 29 and became a member of former prime minister Antti Rinne’s government. After his resignation in 2019 she became party leader and prime minister. Like any election with proportional representation, coalitions are crucial and elections are tight meaning the lack of a majority is not unusual.

She has a reputation as one could expect of your normal 34 year old. Music, photography, and partying are often high on the agenda, being a source of her personal popularity.

This is a big departure from American politics in which the average age of a Senator is 63 years old. In the last presidential election in the US, both candidates were approaching 80. In comparison, the leaders of the five main political parties in Finland were all under 40 at the last election. Finland is dynamic with people fighting for young people and young families with appropriate representation. The US, on the other hand, has been described as a gerontocracy, when the oldest people retain power.

But this perception of Marin as fun and personable has attracted criticism in the last year. She was forced to apologise after going clubbing in December 2021 after a member of her entourage caught covid-19. More recently, she was recorded partying with a number of Finnish celebrities which she described as “boisterous.”

Political allies and enemies believe otherwise, with opposition leader Riikka Purra saying there was a “shadow of doubt” over whether Marin had taken drugs at the party. A member of her coalition, though not from her party, said it would be “wise” for her to take a drugs test. Marin herself said she had “no problem” with a test and submit herself for one on Friday afternoon with the results expected next week.

“I have a family life, I have a work life and I have free time to spend with my friends. Pretty much the same as many people my age,” Ms Marin said.

She added that she was not going to betray herself. “I am going to be exactly the same person as I have been until now and I hope that it will be accepted,” the prime minister added. She has received the support of many other politicans and celebrities on social media.

There is oft criticism of politicians for not being genuine, but the moments that this idea is proven to be false they are attacked. This is especially true for women in the public eye that are treated to a different standard to their male counterparts.

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