Johannes Virolainen

Johannes Virolainen (About this soundpronunciation ) (31 January 1914 – 11 December 2000) was a Finnish politician and who served as 30th Prime Minister of Finland.

Valtioneuvos (Counselor of State)

Johannes Virolainen
Johannesvirolainen.jpg
Virolainen in 1955.
30th Prime Minister of Finland
In office
12 September 1964 – 27 May 1966
PresidentUrho Kekkonen
DeputyAhti Karjalainen
Preceded byReino R. Lehto
Succeeded byRafael Paasio
Speaker of the Finnish Parliament
In office
5 June 1979 – 25 March 1983
Preceded byAhti Pekkala
Succeeded byErkki Pystynen
In office
3 June 1966 – 26 March 1968
Preceded byRafael Paasio
Succeeded byV. J. Sukselainen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
29 August 1958 – 4 December 1958
Prime MinisterKarl-August Fagerholm
Preceded byPaavo Hynninen
Succeeded byKarl-August Fagerholm
In office
27 May 1957 – 29 November 1957
Prime MinisterV. J. Sukselainen
Preceded byRalf Törngren
Succeeded byPaavo Hynninen
In office
20 October 1954 – 3 March 1956
Prime MinisterUrho Kekkonen
Preceded byUrho Kekkonen
Succeeded byRalf Törngren
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
15 May 1977 – 26 May 1979
Prime MinisterMartti Miettunen
Kalevi Sorsa
Preceded byAhti Karjalainen
Succeeded byEino Uusitalo
In office
22 March 1968 – 14 May 1970
Prime MinisterMauno Koivisto
Preceded byReino Oittinen
Succeeded byPäiviö Hetemäki
In office
13 April 1962 – 18 December 1963
Prime MinisterAhti Karjalainen
Preceded byEemil Luukka
Succeeded byAarne Nuorvala
In office
29 August 1958 – 4 December 1958
Prime MinisterKarl-August Fagerholm
Preceded byTyyne Leivo-Larsson
Succeeded byOnni Hiltunen
In office
27 May 1957 – 29 November 1957
Prime MinisterV. J. Sukselainen
Preceded byAarre Simonen
Succeeded byReino Oittinen
In office
11 January 1957 – 27 May 1957
Prime MinisterKarl-August Fagerholm
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byNils Meinander
Minister of Education
In office
3 March 1956 – 27 May 1957
Prime MinisterKarl-August Fagerholm
Preceded byKerttu Saalasti
Succeeded byKerttu Saalasti
In office
5 May 1954 – 20 October 1954
Prime MinisterRalf Törngren
Preceded byArvo Salminen
Succeeded byKerttu Saalasti
In office
9 July 1953 – 17 November 1953
Prime MinisterUrho Kekkonen
Preceded byReino Oittinen
Succeeded byArvo Salminen
Minister of Agriculture
In office
29 September 1976 – 26 May 1979
Prime MinisterMartti Miettunen
Kalevi Sorsa
Preceded byHeimo Linna
Succeeded byTaisto Tähkämaa
Personal details
Born(1914-01-31)31 January 1914
Viipurin maalaiskunta, Finland
Died11 December 2000(2000-12-11) (aged 86)
Lohja, Finland
NationalityFinnish
Political partyAgrarian League/Centre Party
Spouse(s)Kaarina Virolainen
Kyllikki Virolainen (1981–2000)
Johannes Virolainen
Minister of Agriculture
In office
14 July 1961 – 18 December 1963
Prime MinisterMartti Miettunen
Ahti Karjalainen
Preceded byJuho Jaakkola
Succeeded bySamuli Suomela
Minister of Finance
In office
4 September 1972 – 13 June 1975
Prime MinisterKalevi Sorsa
Preceded byMauno Koivisto
Succeeded byHeikki Tuominen

Virolainen was born near Viipuri. After the Continuation War Virolainen moved to Lohja, but he remained one of the leaders of the evacuated Karelians, and never gave up the hope that Soviet Union and later Russia would return Finnish Karelia to Finland. After World War II Virolainen became the first president of the Maaseudun Nuorten Liitto later known as Finnish Centre Youth, which has been educating tens of ministers and hundreds of members of the Finnish Parliament.[1]

He was also famous as a teetotaller, saying that the only circumstance where he would countenance downing a toast would be if Karelia was ceded back to Finland. He was fond of repeating the line, and it has been claimed that he said it to, among others, Nikita Khrushchev and Anastas Mikoyan on the Soviet side, to fend off needling by them for lacking the Soviet style of social graces.

A member of the Agrarian League (later the Centre Party), Virolainen was a Member of Parliament 1945–1983 and 1987–1991.[2]

He had a long ministerial career, serving as Assistant Minister of the Interior 1950–1951; Minister at the Council of State Chancellery 1951, and 1956–1957; Minister of Education 1953, 1954, 1956–1957, and 1968–1970; Minister of Foreign Affairs 1954–1956, 1957, and 1958[3]; Deputy Prime Minister 1957, 1958, 1962–1963, 1968–1970, and 1977–1979; Minister of Agriculture 1961–1962, 1962–1963; Minister of Finance 1972–1975[4]; and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry 1976–1977 and 1977–1979.[5]

Virolainen was Prime Minister in 1964–1966, presiding over a coalition government comprising the Centre Party, National Coalition Party, Swedish People's Party, and Finnish People's Party. He also served as Speaker of the Parliament in 1966–1968 and 1979–1982. Virolainen is considered one of the strongest Centre Party leaders in the post-war era, second only to Urho Kekkonen.

Johannes Virolainen in 1980 in work room of speaker of the Finnish parliament.

Virolainen had a variable, often tense relationship with President Kekkonen, who considered him an unreliable, too frequently opinion-changing politician (Juhani Suomi, "A Ski Trail Being Snowed In: Urho Kekkonen 1976-1981" / Umpeutuva latu. Urho Kekkonen 1976-1981, Helsinki: Otava Publishing Ltd., 2000). Virolainen himself claimed that the two basic reasons for their tense relationship were that he had never been a member of the right-wing, nationalist Academic Karelia Society (Kekkonen had, until 1932), and that he was a teetotaller (Kekkonen drank and at times smoked) [6]. Moreover, Kekkonen was unconvinced that Virolainen always supported his official foreign policy toward the Soviet Union. In June 1979, he publicly rebuked Virolainen, who was then Speaker of Parliament, for "bearing a false testimony" about Finland's foreign policy, and for harming Finland's international relations. Shortly before this harsh accusation, Virolainen had suggested in an interview by the Suomen Kuvalehti magazine that the National Coalition Party had remained in the opposition despite its major victory in the 1979 parliamentary elections because of "general reasons" or foreign policy[7][8].

Grave of Johannes Virolainen and his wife Kyllikki Virolainen in Lohja, Finland.

After Kekkonen resigned in October 1981, Virolainen became the Centre Party's presidential candidate, but he was handily defeated in the 1982 presidential elections by the Social Democratic candidate, Mauno Koivisto. In the 1983 parliamentary elections, Virolainen was one of the major-party deputies to lose their seats because of allegations that he had illegally received the parliamentary daily allowance for commuting between Helsinki and his official hometown. Determined to finish his parliamentary career in style, he was re-elected to Parliament in the 1987 parliamentary elections. During his last electoral term, Virolainen supported constitutional amendment proposals that reduced the President's power.[9]

During his nine-year retirement from Parliament, Virolainen still actively followed the Finnish political affairs and sometimes gave interviews on current topics (the Finnish broadcasting corporation YLE "Living Archives" / Elävä arkisto, search words: "Johannes Virolainen"). He also wrote some volumes of political memoirs, including "A Defence of Politics" (Politiikan puolustus), "From the Path" (Polun varrelta), and "The Pictures Move" (Kuvat kulkevat).

CabinetsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vanhanen, Tatu. Vihreä Nuoriso, Nuoren Keskustan Liitto r.y., 1995, p. 79.
  2. ^ "Edustajamatrikkeli" (in Finnish). Eduskunta.
  3. ^ "Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland - Ministers of Foreign Affairs". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Council of State - Ministers of Finance". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Ministerikortisto" (in Finnish). Valtioneuvosto. Archived from the original on 2009-05-03.
  6. ^ Johannes Virolainen, "The Last Electoral Term" / Viimeinen vaalikausi, Helsinki: Otava Publishing Ltd., 1991
  7. ^ Suomi 2000; Pekka Hyvärinen, "Finland's Man: Urho Kekkonen's Life" / Suomen mies. Urho Kekkosen elämä, Helsinki: Werner Söderström Publishing Ltd., 2000
  8. ^ Seppo Zetterberg et al., eds., "A Small Giant of the Finnish History" / Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen, Helsinki: Werner Söderström Publishing Ltd., 2003
  9. ^ Zetterberg et al., eds., 2003; Virolainen 1991
Political offices
Preceded by
Urho Kekkonen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1954–1956
Succeeded by
Ralf Törngren
Preceded by
Ralf Törngren
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1957
Succeeded by
Paavo Hynninen
Preceded by
Paavo Hynninen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1958
Succeeded by
Karl-August Fagerholm
Preceded by
Reino Ragnar Lehto
Prime Minister of Finland
1964–1966
Succeeded by
Rafael Paasio
Preceded by
Rafael Paasio
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
1966–1968
Succeeded by
V. J. Sukselainen
Preceded by
Ahti Pekkala
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
1979–1982
Succeeded by
Erkki Pystynen