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Europe
Text scandal ousts Finnish minister
Mobile phone messages sent to erotic dancer lead to foreign minister's dismissal.
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2008 23:35 GMT

Kanerva admitted sending text messages
to Tukiainen [Reuters]

Finland's foreign minister has been dismissed after local newspapers and magazines published suggestive text messages he had sent to an erotic dancer.
 
Ilkka Kanerva, 60, sent about 200 text messages to Johanna Tukiainen, the leader of an erotic dance troupe called the "Scandinavian Dolls".
While admitting the messages were inappropriate, Kanerva denied doing anything wrong.

However, his conservative National Coalition Party said he could not continue in his position.

Alexander Stubb, a member of the European Parliament, is to replace him on Friday.
Jyrki Katainen, the head of Kanerva's party, said: "This has been the toughest decision as the leader of the party. Ilkka is my friend and he has done his job as foreign minister brilliantly."

Katainen said he thought that Kanerva had acted thoughtlessly in his private life.

The foreign minister has been in trouble in previous years over his mobile phone use.

In 2005, when he was the deputy speaker of parliament, he bombarded two models with text messages.

Katainen said: "He promised he would not repeat such a scandal, but he did not keep that promise".

Source:
Agencies
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