Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin, 34, flies home from EU summit to self-isolate after meeting MP who later tested positive for coronavirus
- Marin was flying home from Brussels a day after EU chief von der Leyen also left
- Finnish PM said she had asked the leader of Sweden to cover Finland’s interests
- Marin had attended a meeting with Finnish MP who later developed symptoms
Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin today left an EU summit to self-isolate after attending a meeting with a Finnish MP who has since come down with Covid-19.
Marin, the world’s youngest female leader at 34, was flying home from Brussels a day after European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen similarly had to abandon the meeting after a close contact tested positive.
Marin said she had left the European Council meeting as a ‘precautionary measure’ and asked Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven to cover Finland’s interests.
She had attended a meeting on Wednesday with politician Tom Packalen who has since developed flu symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin arrives at the summit in Brussels today, which she left soon afterwards to return to Helsinki to self-isolate
Marin will return to Finland, where she will be tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate at the prime minister’s residence in Helsinki.
Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen has objected to the EU meeting being held in person at a time when Europe is battling a resurgence of the virus.
‘This meeting should have been held as a video conference,’ Frederiksen told reporters as she arrived in Brussels for the meeting.
Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has also not been present at the meeting as he is self-isolating in his home country.
Last month, a summit was postponed for a week after Council president Charles Michel went into coronavirus quarantine.
On Thursday, the European Parliament said its upcoming plenary session scheduled next week would be held remotely.
Marin, 34, would be considered a low-risk patient if she contracted Covid-19.
Marin, wearing a mask, gets out of a car while speaking on her phone as she arrives for the second day of the summit today
UK prime minister Boris Johnson, 56, and US president Donald Trump, 74, were both hospitalised after contracting the virus, while Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, 65, rode out his isolation period at home.
Marin became Finland’s youngest ever prime minister when she was selected by her party to succeed Antti Rinne last December.
Earlier this week she received an outpouring of support from Finnish women after criticism of her for wearing a blazer with no top underneath in a photoshoot for a magazine (pictured below).
Her outraged fans were quick to rally behind her, sharing photographs of themselves posing in similar ensembles to the prime minister’s.
In an accompanying interview, Marin revealed the ‘pressure’ and ‘exhaustion’ she has experienced during this difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘It’s clear that these years are leaving their mark,’ she said. ‘This is not an ordinary job or a normal life but heavy in many ways. It may be that the pressure and exhaustion will build up and come later.’