Saturday 10/16/21

Helsinki cocktail bar bans Prime Minister Marin from entry for 9 years

Entrepreneurs accuse the Finnish government of punishing restaurants and promoting a restrictive alcohol policy under the pretext of the coronavirus
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (L) and Education Minister Li Andersson in Parliament. Photo: Kimmo Brandt/Eduskunta.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (L) and Education Minister Li Andersson in Parliament. Photo: Kimmo Brandt/Eduskunta/File photo.

Chihuahua Julep, a popular cocktail bar in Helsinki (Finland) has just said that it prohibits entry to its facilities to the head of the five-party coalition government, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP). The ban also affects Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Krista Kiuru, Minister of Education Li Andersson and three senior officials involved in decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was made public by the bar's managers, Jami Järvinen and Minna Kettunen, in a post published on Facebook on Monday.

In the text, both entrepreneurs review the difficulties that they had to endure since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, which worsened due to successive restrictions on the activity of the hotel and catering businesses imposed by the Finnish authorities, especially in the capital region.

Järvinen and Kettunen accuse the Marin-led government of not doing enough to help troubled companies during this crisis. And of taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to make politics, for example with the consumption of alcohol, and of deliberately mistreating the restaurant sector.

Many cocktail bars in the capital region are on the verge of closing after many months without being able to work, while other businesses - for example, big shopping centers and supermarkets - have not seen their activity restricted. That is the main complaint of the Helsinki food and beverage businessmen.

'Corona controllers'

According to Järvinen and Kettunen, this is a case of "political bullying" carried out against bars by the "corona controllers."

"We have received sanctions that we believe we do not deserve," say Järvinen and Kettunen. For this reason, in retaliation, they have decided to impose sanctions against the government officials they consider guilty of their difficult situation.

The decision of these two entrepreneurs is to ban Prime Minister Sanna Marin from their bar for 9 years. But Marin is not the hardest hit by these sanctions. The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Krista Kiuru, will not be able to go there for a drink for the next 12 years.

The punishment is less severe - just one year ban - for Education Minister Li Andersson.

More than 4,100 likes, 800 shares

The two entrepreneurs also impose harsh sanctions on three heads of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Taneli Puumalainen (5 years without the possibility of tasting their cocktails), Mika Salminen (3 years) and Kirsi Varhila (3 years).

At the time of writing this article, the post had 4,100 likes, more than 500 comments and had been shared more than 800 times by other Facebook users.