Ahti Kalle Samuli Karjalainen (10 February 1923 – 7 September 1990) was a Finnish
politician. He was a member of the Agrarian League (later known as Keskusta
, Centre Party) and served two terms as Prime Minister of Finland
. He is, however, better known for his period as Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Finland. Karjalainen is considered one of the most influential figures in post-war
. Like President Urho Kekkonen
, Karjalainen attached great importance to Finland's relationship with the Soviet Union.
Karjalainen served as the Minister of the Treasury, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Trade and Industry
for half a decade from 1957, forming his first government on 13 April 1962. It remained in office until December the following year; ultimately disbanding due to the resignations of ministers sympathetic to the SAK
over economic and political issues. Karjalainen served a second term as prime minister from 15 July 1970 to 29 October 1971.
Karjalainen's ministerial career continued with only short interruptions until May 1977. By this time he had spent 5,772 days as a political minister
- a period of service only surpassed by Johannes Virolainen
. Karjalainen first entered the Parliament of Finland
in 1966, serving as a member for 13 years.
In 1950, Urho Kekkonen made Karjalainen a key secretary in his first government. This was the start of a long-standing cooperative relationship between Kekkonen and Karjalainen, which endured for more than twenty years. So close was their partnership that throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Karjalainen was seen by many as Kekkonen's crown prince. Their partnership ended when Kekkonen dismissed Karjalainen's second government in 1971.
In 1981 Karjalainen put his name forward to be presidential candidate of the Centre Party, but lost to Johannes Virolainen. The election was ultimately won by Mauno Koivisto
who became President of Finland
in January 1982, succeeding Kekkonen.
Outside politics Karjalainen had a successful career with the Bank of Finland
. He served as director of its research facility from 1953 to 1957, and was elected to its Board of Management in 1958. Karjalainen served as Deputy Governor of the Bank of Finland from 1979, acting chairman of the board from 1979 to 1982 and as governor from 1982 to 1983.
Karjalainen was a Doctor of Political Science; his thesis was entitled "The relationships between the monetary politics of the Bank of Finland and the state economy from 1811 to 1953 mainly regarding liquidity analysis".
The later stages of Karjalainen's political career were notably affected by his alcoholism
– a national scandal ensued following his final resignation as prime minister when he was arrested for drunk-driving. His alcoholism was the cause of his dismissal as Governor of the Bank of Finland in 1983. Karjalainen's use of alcoholic beverage
s and the peculiar manner in which he spoke the English language
led him to receive the moniker of "Tankero
". "Tankero jokes" ended up becoming a widely known part of Finnish culture.
In 1989, Karjalainen publicized his memoirs where he publicly claimed that how Paavo Väyrynen
had worked with KGB
spy Viktor Vladimirov
[HS kuukausiliite 1/2010, pages 32-36]Vanhan liiton mies
Karjalainen died of pancreatic cancer in Helsinki on 7 September 1990.
* Karjalainen I Cabinet
* Karjalainen II Cabinet
Ahti Karjalainen in the minister database of the state council
Ahti Karjalainen in the YLE national sound clip gallery
Category:People from Hirvensalmi
Category:Centre Party (Finland) politicians
Category:Prime Ministers of Finland
Category:Deputy Prime Ministers of Finland
Category:Ministers of Trade and Industry of Finland
Category:Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Category:Members of the Parliament of Finland (1966–70)
Category:Members of the Parliament of Finland (1970–72)
Category:Members of the Parliament of Finland (1972–75)
Category:Members of the Parliament of Finland (1975–79)
Category:Governors of the Bank of Finland
Category:Finnish military personnel of World War II
Category:Deaths from cancer in Finland
Category:Deaths from pancreatic cancer
Category:Grand Crosses of the Order of the White Lion