New Zealand, Finnish prime ministers hit age question, slam sexism

SYDNEY – The Prime Minister of New Zealand🇧🇷 Jacinda Ardernand the one Finland🇧🇷 sanna marinreacted to a question asked by a journalist, during a press conference on Wednesday, 30, who suggested that the meeting between the two leaders would have been motivated by the affinity between both and the similar ages.

“Many people ask: are you meeting because you are the same age and have many things in common – in politics and in other matters – or can New Zealanders expect agreements between our countries later on?”, asked the reporter.

Jacinda Ardern countered by asking if anyone would ask the former president of the United States the same question, Barack Obamaand the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, when they met in the past. “My first question is if anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they got together because they were similar ages.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (left) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meet in Auckland;  Machita's question angered the New Zealand prime minister
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (left) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meet in Auckland; Machita’s question angered the New Zealand prime minister Photograph: Michael Craig/New Zealand Herald via AP

In the response, Ardern emphasized the economic potential between countries and rejecting possible sexist stereotypes – when you reduce someone or a group by gender or sexual orientation. “Of course, we have a higher proportion of men in politics, that’s the reality, because two women getting together is not just because of their gender,” she said. Videos with excerpts from the press conference were shared on social media.

She also added that Finland, which exports 199 million New Zealand dollars to New Zealand (R$ 637 million), has companies like Nokia and produces biofuels and even elevators that New Zealand buys. The leader added that New Zealand exports around 14 million New Zealand dollars (R$ 62 million) to Finland, mainly wine and beef, and that there is “enormous potential” between the two countries.

Ardern also recalled that the two countries will benefit from the free trade agreement on which the European Union and New Zealand concluded negotiations earlier this year and which still needs to be signed and ratified. The Finnish Prime Minister, on an official visit to Auckland between November 29th and December 1st, also reacted to the question: “We meet because we are prime ministers, of course”.

Marin said that he traveled to New Zealand with a delegation of businessmen and highlighted that the two countries have a lot of potential in sectors such as technology to guarantee the sector’s independence. “I am really worried about the dependence we have now on authoritarian countries in relation to new technologies, the digital structure in our societies”, added the leader of Finland.

In August of this year, Sanna Marin defended herself after being the target of criticism and judgment for a video in which she appears dancing at a party alongside friends and Finnish celebrities. On the verge of tears, the prime minister said she had the right “to joy and life”. “I am a human being. Sometimes I also seek joy, light and pleasure in the midst of these dark clouds ”, declared the Prime Minister at the time. 🇧🇷EFE

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