Sanna Marin: What scandal? Finland mostly shrugs at prime minister’s party exploits

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A new video emerged on Friday morning of Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at a popular Helsinki bar, enjoying an evening with friends and dancing closely with a man who is not her husband. 

It comes just 36 hours after another video, apparently taken from Instagram Stories, which shows Marin — the world’s youngest prime minister when she took the job in December 2019 — singing and dancing at a private house party with Finnish b-list celebrities.  

While there are some in Finland who are trying to score political points from these videos, including the far-right Finns Party and a fringe politician from the Centre Party (even though it’s part of Marin’s five-party coalition government), there hasn’t been much of a mainstream backlash so far to either of the videos. 

The new video shows nothing legally incriminating. 

Euronews has reviewed more than ten minutes of mobile phone video shot in early August at Helsinki’s Teatteri, part of the Swedish Theatre with a restaurant, bar and nightclub: a lively, if expensive, venue for a night out in the Finnish capital. 

The person who took the video told Euronews they passed it to Finnish celebrity gossip magazine Seiska, who published it on Friday. 

There’s been minimal negative reaction so far to this new video – “Did your judgment fail you? Is (Marin’s husband) a cuckold man? Does your child get the necessary care at home” said one man on Twitter; while another woman said Marin was “disrespecting Finland’s most influential office and its responsibilities”. 

However, there are questions journalists have legitimately asked, like Jarno Liski, a reporter with Iltalehti newspaper who asked whether Marin was technically on call and working that weekend, or if she was still on leave when she was filmed drinking and partying with friends, and if a deputy prime minister had been nominated to cover for her, as per the normal procedure. 

Social media reaction

Most of the reaction so far on social media has been positive about Marin, her image, and her right to have a personal life that is separate from her job as Finland’s prime minister.

“Somewhere in the world, there are situations where the prime minister is accused of corruption, exceeding his powers, violating the constitution, polarising and inciting hatred, or simply authoritarian leadership,” another woman in Finland wrote. 

“This dancing seems okay,” she added.