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Mar 12,2008
Minister says he sent dancer messages
by UPI

HELSINKI, Finland - Finland Foreign Affairs Minister Ilkka Kanerva now admits he sent text messages to an erotic dancer.

Kanerva, a member of the National Coalition Party, said Monday he sent the messages to Johanna Tukiainen of the erotic dance group Dolls, and to her sister, Helsingen Sonomat reported.

"Messages have been sent, but not in the sense of any deep drama of human relationships," Kanerva told reporters in Brussels following a European Union foreign ministers' meeting.

Kanerva previously denied he had sent the messages when asked by a reporter from YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Co.

The gossip magazine Hymy reported Kanerva had sent about 200 intimate text messages to Tukiainen from his work telephone.

As for his political future, Kanerva said that is up to the voters.

Helena Virkkunen, chairwoman of the women's organization of the National Coalition Party, said Kanerva's actions "does not show good consideration," it was reported.

"Politics is evaluated as a whole. This does not give a good impression", Virkkunen said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved

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