Finland’s defence minister will take almost two months’ paternity leave early next year amid his country’s bid to join Nato, a move his Centre party praised.
“We proudly support Antti Kaikkonen’s decision,” the party leader and finance minister, Annika Saarikko, said.
In Finland, fathers whose children were born before September 2022 are entitled to 54 days paternity leave.
About 80% of dads in Finland take some amount of paternity leave, the government said last year.
While several ministers have taken maternity leave during their stints in the current government, Kaikkonen is one of the first male ministers to go on paternity leave.
In the late 1990s, the then-prime minister, Paavo Lipponen, took paternity leave in a groundbreaking move.
The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said in November that the country would approve Finland and Sweden’s accession to Nato next year. »