Video leaks of Finland’s youthful PM partying, prompting drugs denial

Video leaks of Finland’s youthful PM partying, prompting drugs denial

August 18, 2022

London: Finland’s prime minister, recently dubbed the coolest politician in the world, has had to deny taking illicit drugs after footage of her dancing, drinking and singing at a raucous party was leaked online.

Sanna Marin, 36, said on Thursday morning she had “nothing to conceal or hide” and hadn’t “done anything illegal,” after Finnish newspaper Iltalehti published a video compiled from several since-deleted Instagram clips.

Its publication has sparked controversy in Finland, with unidentified people in the video heard shouting “jauhojengi”, which means “flour gang” and a slang term related to cocaine and party drugs. Among the 20 or so people at the party were artists, TV hosts, an MP, a celebrity stylist and a social media influencer.

The world’s youngest prime minister when elected in 2019 was forced to apologise in December last year, after photos of her dancing at a Helsinki nightclub until 4am were published after her foreign minister tested positive for COVID. She said she had missed a text telling her to isolate because she left her work phone at home.

She told reporters on Thursday she was “very upset” the video has been leaked, saying they were from a party which took place in two apartments and continued in two bars at least two weeks ago.

“I spent the evening with my friends, partied, even in a rowdy way, danced and sang,” she said.

“I haven’t used drugs, I haven’t used anything other than alcohol,” she said. “These are private videos and are not intended for the public.”

The video showed six people dancing and singing along to the music, including Marin. Later, she is seen on her knees on what seems to be the dance floor, with her arms behind her head and dancing and singing. Among the group is singer Alma, influencer Janita Autio, TV host Tinni Wikstrom, YouTuber Ilona Ylikorpi, stylist Vesa Silver and MP Ilmari Nurminen from Marin’s Social Democratic Party.

Marin and friends are seen dancing along to songs by Finnish rapper Petri Nygård and pop star Antti Tuisku.

“I have a family life, I have a work life and I have free-time to spend with my friends. Pretty much the same as many people my age,” she said. “I am going to be exactly the same person as I have been until now and I hope that it will be accepted.”

Asked if there should be a police investigation, she added: “I still don’t know that anything illegal has happened. It would hardly be a police matter then.”

Radio host Karoliina Tuominen, who was at the party, also denied anyone had taken drugs. She said it was a shame the videos had been made public and said nothing was “strange” about a “good group” of adults who were having fun.

Finnish opposition party leader, Riikka Purra, called for Marin to take a voluntary drug test, saying there was a “shadow of doubt” hanging over the prime minister.

Mikko Karna, an MP serves in Marin’s centre-Left coalition government of five parties, wrote on social media that “it would be wise” for her to “voluntarily undergo a drugs test”.

Marin appeared open to the suggestion, telling reporters that she had “not used drugs” and had “no problem taking tests”.

Marin has been a constant target from some section of the Finnish media which has questioned her judgement over her social activities, claiming some have left her open her to potential compromise.

In January, Marin said she and her fellow young female ministers have been targeted with extensive hate speech for their gender and appearance while in office.

A security expert, Petteri Järvinen, told the Iltalehti that Russia could have had a hand in the leaking of the latest videos.

Marin has angered Vladimir Putin after ending decades of Finnish non-alignment to apply to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine last week she called for the cancellation of tourist visas to Russians across the European Union.

Marin has become a fashion icon among some of her supporters and has been regularly photographed attending music festivals and posing with celebrities. She faced criticism last year for posing with Janne Raninen, a former hit man who spent two decades in prison for two gang-related murders.

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