Jyrki Tapani Katainen (born October 14, 1971) is the current Prime Minister of Finland and the chairman of the National Coalition Party.
Katainen grew up in Siilinjärvi and was a part-time teacher and he became a member of the Siilinjärvi municipal council in 1993. He was elected member of the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta) from the district of Northern Savonia in 1999, served as the vice-chairman of his party since 2001, becoming its leader in 2004.
In March 2003, he was elected Vice President of the European People's Party (EPP) for a three-year term.
In the 2007 parliamentary election, the National Coalition led by Katainen won the second place from the Social Democrats. Katainen became the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the new cabinet with Center, National Coalition, Greens, and Swedish People's party.
In November 2008, the Financial Times named Katainen as the best finance minister in Europe. Katainen warned in 2009 that Europe's leaders must do more to prepare voters for “exit strategies” that bring spiralling public sector debts back under control, noting that "It is always politically difficult but we simply have no choice. We will have to do very painful things in forthcoming years when the economy has started to recover."
Prime Ministership (2011-present)
Following the parliamentary election held on April 17, 2011, Katainen was elected Prime Minister by the new parliament and assumed office on June 22, 2011. His centre-right National Coalition Party became the largest party for the first time in the history of independent Finland. After long and difficult government-forming negotiations, he was elected Prime Minister by the Finnish Parliament, and his government of six parties (National Coalition, Social Democrats, Left Alliance, Greens, Swedish People's Party and Christian Democrats) was formally appointed by President Tarja Halonen on June 22, 2011.
In October 2012, it was reported that security personnel had stopped a knife-wielding assailant from attacking Katainen. Katainen was in Turku, campaigning at the time of the incident.
Katainen states that "the values that guide the direction of my political thinking are: liberty, equality of opportunities, education, encouragement, tolerance and caring." In 2008 Katainen supported the Vanhanen cabinet plans for tax cuts to be spread out evenly among pay earners of all income levels. Katainen has criticized ideologization of energy sources and has called for a smart green policy that is a mix of many energy sources. He supports providing affordable energy using nuclear power. Katainen has stressed that the six-party cabinet will take an active, initiative-taking foreign policy grounded in continuity. Katainen has asserted that Finland would be better off if the country welcomed work-based immigrants.
With the start of his premiership, and even before it, Katainen has strongly supported EU-co-operation and bailouts for crisis-torn European countries, primarily Greece, receiving both praise and criticism from the citizens.
Another important act on the government has been The Municipal Reform. The aim is to reduce the amount of municipalities from current 336 to about one third of it by 2015.
He is married to Mervi Katainen, a football player, and has 2 children. Apart from his native Finnish, he is fluent in English, French and Swedish.
He runs a marathon every year and his record is 3.54.23.
Katainen took part in 22nd World Scout Jamboree in 2011. Katainen was honorary protector of Roverway 2012 jamboree.
- "FT Names Katainen Best Finance Minister in Europe" YLE 18.11.2008
- Financial Times: Finnish minister wants exit strategy talks
- Zetterberg, Seppo et al., ed. (2003) (in Finnish). Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen [A Small Giant of the Finnish History]. Helsinki: Werner Söderström Publishing Ltd..
- "Katainen villitsi kokoomusväen" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat (Sanoma News). 17 April 2011.
- "Uusi hallitus nimitettiin" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat (Sanoma News). 22 June 2011.
- "'Attack thwarted' on Finnish PM Jyrki Katainen". bbc.com/news. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20031494. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Jyrki Katainen: Values
- Ministry of Finance submits proposal for Finland's second centenary budget:Katainen delivers his second draft budget: emphasis on expertise, motivation and caring
- Budget: Finance Minister Katainen proposes EUR 800 million in tax cuts
- Katainen: Vihreiden linja uhka hyvinvointiyhteiskunnalle yle 17.10.2009
- Jyrki Katainen (5.2.2008). "Ajankohtaista – Järkivihreää ilmasto- ja energiapolitiikkaa" (in Finnish). Internet Archive. http://web.archive.org/web/20080317210108/http://www.jyrkikatainen.fi/main.site?action=siteupdate/view&id=3. Retrieved 22.11.2010.
- Katainen stressed an active approach and continuity in foreign policy
- Jyrki Katainen (2.6.2009). "Suomi tarvitsee maahanmuuttajia" (in Finnish). TS.fi. http://www.ts.fi/online/mielipiteet/kolumni/51850.html. Retrieved 8.12.2009.
- Miten päädyin politiikkaan?
- Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen as Honorary Protector of Roverway 2012