Life in Helsinki

Elliot Spitzer should run for office in Finland.

I’m working on a longer Europe-bashing piece, and then this comes across my desk and makes me doubt the entire thesis:

Finnish Minister admits sending 200 dirty texts to erotic dancer from taxpayer-funded phone

Ilkka Kanerva, 60, confirmed today that he has sent text messages to Johanna Tukiainen, a member of the erotic dance group Dolls, and to her sister.

Finland’s foreign minister yesterday admitted being involved with a topless dancer and her porn star sister.

It looks like he’s unlikely to get Spitzered, however.

Earlier this month Finland’s prime minister, who accused his former lover of hurting his feelings by writing a steamy kiss-and-tell account of their relationship, lost a court case over the book but unexpectedly gained popularity.

Matti Vanhanen, 52, prime minister since 2003, has been enjoying a wave of support since the disclosure that he likes to take a sauna before sex and enjoys his favourite meal of beef and baked potatoes afterwards.

Oh, those hyper-emotional Finns.

SAFER: Do people tell each other that they love each other?

SCHULTZ: No, oh my God, no, no. Not…even lovers.

KNUTAS: Well, I’d say you could say it once in a lifetime…. Say, you have been married for 20 years; perhaps your spouse is on her death-bed, you could comfort her with saying “I love you,”…

SAFER: (laughs)

KNUTAS: It’s not funny.

It seems that Nokia hasn’t made it any easier to say “I love you.”

“Messages have been sent, but not in the sense of any deep drama of human relationships”, Kanerva said in Brussels at a press conference held after a European Union foreign ministers’ meeting.

And yet they’re the sixth-happiest country.

“Our beloved government makes sure that taxes are high enough to prevent easy ways to riches,” says Jaakko Lehtonen, director-general of the Finnish Tourism Board. “Finns think a good salary is two cents higher than your neighbor’s; it’s enough to make you feel wealthy and subsequently, happy,” he says.

That, and the pony trekking, camping, and TV watching.