Anne Berner (Centre), a former Minister of Transport and Communications, has voiced her dismay at suggestions that she had her own interests in mind when handling her ministerial duties. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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A COMPANY called Kiinteistö Oy Focus Gate Logistics engaged actively in land transactions in the vicinity of Helsinki Airport during the tenure of Anne Berner (Centre) as Minister of Transport and Communications, reports Kauppalehti.

The real estate company is owned by the family of Berner.

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The commerce-oriented newspaper revealed yesterday that the company made land purchases and trades with the municipality of Tuusula and construction company YIT in 2015–2016. The transactions were related to an area located north of Helsinki Airport, with good transport links and a business park development project.

Berner, the newspaper said, did not disclose her ties to the real estate company to the Finnish Parliament.

The former cabinet member herself said the letters of intent for the land trades were signed before she was elected to the Parliament. The Ministry of Transport and Communications, she added, found that there was no conflict of interest in her negotiating with the municipality about transport connections and being responsible for the ownership steering of Finavia, the state-owned airport operator involved in the transactions.

Berner responded to the report in a guest contribution for Kauppalehti on Wednesday, saying she is shocked about suggestions that she had her own interests in mind when putting together funding for rail infrastructure projects and converting buildings for residential use.

“Both proposals were based on extensive preparatory work conducted by experts and government officials,” she underlined. “At no point in my tenure as minister have I acted against the oath of office I took.”

Berner in February announced she will hand over her ministerial responsibilities to take a seat on the board of directors at SEB, a financial services group based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi