Finnish PM apologises for party picture from official residence

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin had to take a drug test on Aug 22 following a public stir over her partying in the past week. PHOTO: AFP

HELSINKI (REUTERS) - Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Tuesday (Aug 23) apologised for a picture that emerged from a private party she had thrown at her official residence in July, following a public stir over her partying in the past week.

On Monday, a drug test taken by the prime minister, one of the youngest world leaders, came back negative.

It was taken to assuage concerns after video footage was published last week showing her singing and dancing with Finnish celebrities at another party.

This week, another image began circulating in social media, showing two well-known female influencers kissing each other, covering their bare breasts with a "Finland" sign from the Prime Minister's official residence in Helsinki.

"In my opinion, the picture is not appropriate. I apologise for it. That kind of a picture should not have been taken but otherwise, nothing extraordinary happened at the get-together," Ms Marin told reporters, confirming the photo was from her residence.

Ms Marin, 36, who has made no secret of her enjoyment of her leisure time, said the picture was taken during a private party with her friends after a music festival in July.

"We had sauna, swam and spent time together," she said, describing the party at her seaside residence.

Finns have been divided over the premier's behaviour, with some voicing support for the young leader for combining a private life with her high-profile career, while others have raised questions about whether her judgement would be impaired by her leisure activities.

Social Democrat leader Ms Marin, who became the world's youngest serving government leader in December 2019, agreed on Friday to take the drug test, saying she had never taken drugs and that she had not seen anyone doing so at the party she attended.

Ms Marin told Reuters in January that she and her fellow young female ministers have been targeted with extensive hate speech for their gender and appearance while in office.

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