You know you’ve really made it as a business when you can be blamed for an entire country’s economic collapse. During an interview with CNBC on Monday, the prime minister of Finland suggested that Apple was at least partly to blame for the country’s recent economic troubles. “We have two industrial problems, two champions which went down. One was, of course, Nokia… and the other had to do with the forest and paper industry,” Alexander Stubb, Finland’s prime minister, said in the interview. He then went on to explain the surprising connection between the two industry’s declines: Apple.
When in doubt, blame someone else. Alexander Stubb, the Finnish prime minister, said today that Apple was responsible for bringing down two of Finland’s biggest economic exports — Nokia and paper. “The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” he said earlier today in an interview with CNBC. It’s not the first time that he’s set up Apple as the shorthand scapegoat for the country’s problems — Stubb made similar, pithy comments back in July when he said that “Steve Jobs took our jobs.” The comments come at a time when Finland has been downgraded by ratings agency S&P. It’s now at AA+ from AAA. The big question now for Stubb and the industries impacted is how to demonstrate to investors and lenders that its businesses are not stagnating. Inaccurate swipes harkening back to past events really screams strong leadership to me.