Finnish Foreign minister replaced over text messages to model
(dpa) - European Parliament member Alexander Stubb was appointed successor to Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva Tuesday when the minister's position became untenable after he sent scores of text messages to a model, who also works as an exotic dancer.
Party leader Jyrkki Katainen, also finance minister in the four- party coalition, said Stubb of the National Coalition Part was his first choice.
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and President Tarja Halonen were also consulted.
Stubb, who turned 40 on Tuesday, said his immediate focus would be on the Finnish presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE0.
Earlier, Katainen told the online edition of Verkkouutiset that Kanerva could no longer remain in office over the affair and that the decision was "very difficult".
Katainen's remarks were made shortly before the latest issue of gossip magazine Hymy hit the stands with two dozen of 200 text messages Kanerva reportedly sent to model Johanna Tukiainen.
One of the published text messages allegedly sent at 1 am on February 20 said: "I can only speak for myself. What would feel good?" according to Hymy.
In another, Kanerva expressed interest in also meeting Tukianen's sister.
From late Monday, Kanerva said he had no plans to step down.
Kanerva, 60, reported sick Tuesday and cancelled his scheduled attendance at a two-day NATO summit in Romania this week, the Foreign Ministry said.
The colourful veteran politician had recently apologized for the messages saying he had made "an error of judgement."
Tukiainen failed last week to get a court injunction to stop the publication.
The 29-year-old model said that neither she nor Kanerva wanted them made public.
In 2005, Kanerva, then deputy speaker of parliament, was at the centre of a similar row for sending text messages to younger women but defused the matter by apologizing on national television.