On CNBC this morning, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb pointed to Apple as a major reason for the decline of the country’s largest export industries – paper and IT/mobile, and in particular, Apple’s effect on the outlook for cell phone maker Nokia. A former leader in the space, the company’s device and services business was officially acquired by Microsoft last spring. “Paradoxically, one could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” said Stubb.
It’s not often that you see a single company blamed for the economic struggles of an entire country. But Stubb, who was installed as prime minister at the end of June, has put Apple in the scapegoat position before. In July, he remarked at a press conference in Stockholm, “Steve Jobs took our jobs, but this is beginning to change.”
Last week, financial rating service Standard and Poor's downgraded Finland's sovereign debt rating to AA+ from AAA, bringing Stubbs opinions of Apple’s impact on the Finnish economic state once again to the fore. Stubb told Bloomberg he foresees it taking as long as four years for the country’s ranking to get bumped back to AAA.