Sauli Niinistö, the new speaker of the Finnish parliament and former chairman of the National Coalition party (Kokoomus) said on Wednesday 25th of April 2007 that the president’s participation at EU summit meetings should not be limited.
The surprise stands on the fact that the chairman of the Kokoomus Jurki Katainen, the successor and best pupil of Niinistö seems to have a different idea and he has openly talked about it. In an interview Mr. Katainen had emphasized the need for a debate on whether the president should be allowed to travel to the EU summits.
The truth is that Mr. Niinistö isn’t really defending the Finnish president Mrs. Tarja Halonen who made the government to feel a bit …uncomfortable last year when Finland hosted the presidency of the EU and for six months all the summits but he wants to make sure that the president’s seat will have a meaning when …he will step in.
It seems somehow that the seat of the speaker of the Finnish parliament is a step either to retirement or to the presidential palace and Niinistö is still young and very ambitious to let the top seat of his dreams to be chopped in …pieces even if that means a contrast with his own party and his favorite pupil.