Koivisto, Mauno Henrik

Koivisto, Mauno Henrik mou´nō hĕn´rĭk koi´vēstō [key], 1923–2017, Finnish politician. He was director of the Helsinki Workers' Savings Bank (1959–68) and then governor of the Bank of Finland (1968–82). As a Social Democrat he served as minister of finance (1966–67, 1972). He was prime minister (1968–70, 1979–80) in center–left coalition governments. In 1981 he became interim president, taking over from the incapacitated Urho Kekkonen . He was elected president in 1982, resigning all party posts, and was reelected in 1988. He continued Kekkonen's foreign policy of neutrality and closeness with the USSR (and then Russia) but at the same led Finland out of international isolation and into the European Union. He also reduced the powers of the presidency and strengthened those of the parliament.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian History: Biographies