Estonian leaders apologize after interior minister calls Finland prime minister a 'sales girl'

Estonian leaders apologize after interior minister calls Finland prime minister a 'sales girl'
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Estonia's president and prime minister apologized to Finland’s newly sworn-in Prime Minister Sanna Marin after their country's interior minister called the 34-year-old leader a “sales girl.” 

The apologies from Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas come after the nation’s interior minister, Mart Helme, the leader of the far-right Estonian Conservative People’s Party, made the remarks during a Sunday morning radio talk show. 

“Now we can see that a salesgirl has become prime minister and some other street activist and uneducated person has also become a member of the government,” Helme said on the show, according to an English translation of a report by Finland’s state broadcaster YLE


The broadcaster reported that Kaljulaid called Marin to apologize Monday to apologize after the remarks. 

Ratas, who leads a center-right coalition, wrote on Facebook that he also called Marin to apologize for the remarks and said the countries “need to put this behind us” to push forward on the “important issues” to both nations and the European Union, according to a translation reported by The New York Times

Marin indirectly responded to Helme’s comments in a tweet Sunday. 

“I am extremely proud of Finland. Here, a child from a poor family can get educated and achieve many things in their lives. The cashier of a shop can become a prime minister,” Marin tweeted, according to Twitter's translation of the post. 

“I appreciate the work of every employee, practitioner and entrepreneur!” she continued. 

Marin became the world’s youngest sitting prime minister when she was sworn in earlier this month. 

Finland’s coalition government is made up of five parties, all led by women. Four of them are under the age of 35.