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'She’s 36. She’s allowed to party': Varadkar defends Finland PM after dancing party video leak

A video posted on social media showed six people, including Sanna Marin, dancing and mimicking a song.

LAST UPDATE | 18 Aug 2022

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has come to the defence of Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin, who is the centre of media controversy after a leaked video has caused a flurry of controversy.

Marin said she did not take any drugs during a party in a private home, adding she did nothing wrong when letting her hair down.

A video posted on social media showed six people dancing and mimicking a song in front of a camera, including Marin.

Later in the video, Marin, 36, is on her knees on what seems to be the dance floor with her arms behind her head dancing while mimicking a song. 

“I’m disappointed that it has become public. I spent the evening with friends. Partied, pretty wild, yes. Danced and sang,” she was quoted as saying by Finnish broadcaster YLE.

“I have not used drugs myself, or anything other than alcohol. I’ve danced, sung and partied and done perfectly legal things. I have also not been in a situation where I would know that others are doing it that way,” Marin added, according to the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper.

Varadkar has defended the prime minister, telling The Journal that politicians should be allowed to have a private life.

“It’s hard to get people to agree to become candidates due to the loss of privacy involved.

“I thought she looked great. And she’s a good dancer. She’s 36. She’s allowed to party with her friends. There’d be no fuss if it was a 60 plus prime minister having late night drinks in the golf club bar.

“She’s welcome to a party in my house next time she’s in Dublin.”

It was unclear when the party, which was reportedly attended by Ilmari Nurminen, a member of Eduskunta, or parliament, for Marin’s Social Democratic Party, and the Finnish singer Alma, was held.

Marin — who in December 2019 became Finland’s youngest prime minister — said she spends her free time with friends just like others her age and that she intends to continue being the same person as before.

“I hope that’s accepted. We live in a democracy and in elections everyone can decide these issues,” she said, according to YLE.

Critics have pointed out that Finland, which shares an 832-mile (1,340km) land border with Russia, faces high electricity prices, among other issues from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The country recently dropped its long-neutral stance and asked to join NATO.

In July, Marin attended a popular Finnish rock festival. In December, she made a public apology after going out clubbing until 4am without her work phone, hence failing to be informed that she had been in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person. She did not test positive.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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