Could you explain to our readers when you decided to become a politician?
It is something that just happened. Suddenly I found myself in a situation where I could no longer avoid to be called a politician by profession. But the truth is, that it was a secret dream of mine from quite a young age.
Already in school I was elected into different decisionmaking bodies, representing the pupils.

Did you have strong political beliefs during your youth?
Yes I was a strong opponent of death penalty in the world, I fought against nuclear power and I was active in development issues conserning the third world. I have always had a strong global consience.

Was the choice of becoming a “full time politician” difficult to make? Why?
It was a little of a mistake. I succeded in my first national elections better than expected.
The voters decided for me.

How could you present The Swedish People’s Party to our readers who don’t know it?
The party is a liberal party with a strong social consience. We represent the swedish speaking people in Finland, but have a growing support from likeminded finnish-speaking Finns too. We are strong in human rights and international affairs. We are a small party with respect for the fact that our society has to be eqaually supportive to people from very different backgrounds and with different life situations. We have participated in all governments during the last 25 years.

Has The Swedish People’s Party always been present in the Finnish political life?
Yes it has been in parliament from our independence.

If you had to describe this party with 5 words…
Openminded, human, socialliberal, constructive, visionary.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a politician?
It is exciting, you learn something all the time and you have a possibility to be in the process of making history.
It is also quite a lot of hard work, sometimes too much, and you put yourself on the line all the time. It is the most insecure job you can have.

Do you consider it as a profession or is it more than that?
I try to keep it a profession but it seems to fill my life quite globally.
Lucky for me I have four children who occupy a desent part of me too.

If you had the possibility to totally change your profession. What would you choose?
I honestly cant say. Perhaps I would enjoy the challenges of working in an international organisation. I still would like to make the world a better place…

Why do you think that in Europe people become less and less interested in politics?
We politicians have to look ourselves in the mirror naturally, if this is so.
Often we get too booring and get hung up on nonsense.
On the other hand people are interested in political matters, such as globalisation. Influencing and changing big development issues or local wellbeeing can be done. Politics is one very good way to try. And cooperation both nationally and internationally with different actors is necessary. So if one is satisfied one can lay back and see, but if not then one has to be involved in politics in someway to change matters.

How do you explain the results of Mister Tony Halme during the last Parliamentary elections? Do you think that he was elected for his ideas or for other reasons?
I hope that it was a big joke for most people. But it was also a statement against “the system” by people who feel left out in some way. I dont believe that his voters know anything about his opinions.

What images do you have of France and French people?
Beautiful language, good food and wine, wonderful country, romantic men, sometimes arrogant in politics. My brothers family live in France and I am a little worried about the lack of feminist concoiusnes in his daughters. I do my best to fill in nordic values here. (ha ha)

Is there a French town or region that you particularly appreciate? Why?
Many. Paris ofcourse. Camargue, Provence, Normandie…

If you had to choose one French person that could, to your point of view, well represent the image you have of France and French people… who would it be?
No I cant think of just one. France is a multicultural very pluralistic country with plenty of different kind of celebrities, in politics, in arts, in fashion. For me it is the plentitude of differencies that is so enchanting.

What are your professional or personal projects for the future?
I will be working as a deputé the next four years in the committee of finance, covering all sectors. This way I will be able to be an all around politician with perhaps a special focus on children and the future after all. I hope I will have a little bit more time to spare to be a proper mother. The years as minister in the government were hard for my kids too.