HomeEuropeSomething in the water? Finnish economy minister denies being drunk at work

Something in the water? Finnish economy minister denies being drunk at work

Finland’s economy minister has strenuously denied local media reports that he was drunk on duty — and on more than one occasion.

According to various reports in the Finnish press, Mika Lintilä was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he answered questions in national parliament last December and also while attending a gala dinner hosted by the king of Sweden in May.

Finnish tabloid newspaper Iltalehti has alleged that the minister regularly drinks wine and brandy during business trips, and was visibly drunk during several public appearances.

But the 56-year-old, who has been a member of parliament for the liberal Center Party since 1999, says he does not have an alcohol problem.

“If you have been in parliament for 24 years, [spending] more than six years as a member of government, then such a career is not possible if alcohol plays such a big role,” Lintilä told public broadcaster Yle on Monday.

“Alcohol has not affected my work duties in any way, and I have not heard anyone say that it has affected my work duties,” he added.

Finland holds a general election on April 2, and Lintilä said he intends to stand for reelection.

According to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls, the Center Party is currently fourth, on course to get 10 percent of the votes.

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