Could you explain to our readers when you decided to become a politician?
The final decision of becoming a politician was made only when I entered my candidacy for the Parliament. Before this I had worked in the Centre Party, however my work there was anything but politics.

Did you have strong political beliefs during your youth?
I had many thoughts of the society and the future, however they were more of usual thoughts than politics.

Was the choice of becoming a “full time politician” difficult to make? Why?
In the end it was not. I was interested in politics and it offered new challenges.

If you had to describe your political convictions with 5 words…
I would say equality, justice, development, social security

How could you present the Finnish Centre Party to our readers who don’t know it?
The Finnish Centre Party is a party, that has a great history in developing the quality of life of the Finns. The former Agricultural Party is now the country’s biggest general party.

As the Minister of health and social services, what will be your priorities for the near future?
There are several challenges in our health services, therefore the key issue is to solve them.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a politician?
Positive is that one continually learns new things and has to really give hundred per cent of one’s capabilities. Again negative is that one is always in rush and there is not enough of time to carry out any other tasks.

Do you consider it as a profession or is it more than that?
It is a kind of a life style. This is hard work, but not in the traditional meaning of work. Political work cannot be limited inside a place or time, however it is continuous searching of information and developing of own skills.

If you had the possibility to totally change your profession. What would you choose?
I would probably go back to be a dentist.

Why do you think that in Europe people become less and less interested in politics?
Politics is complex and requires long commitment, also the politicians are seen as distant. This is a subject that is challenging for us politicians.

What should be done to change this situation?
The politicians should meet more of the citizens and the work should be more transparent.

What are your professional or personal projects for the future?
Now I concentrate on my work a day at a time and I try to make as much effort as I can to improve our health services, and that is a matter that demands time and resources.