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The Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, is in hot water with politicians on the opposite side of the aisle over videos that have surfaced of her partying with friends. Marin, who is one of the youngest world leaders at just 36, has been criticized for appearing to be under the influence in the videos. Some Finnish politicians said she should be tested for drugs in response to the videos.

Marin vehemently denied ever taking drugs and said she only drank alcohol at the party. Although she disagreed with the need to take the drug test, she took it in order to put any suspicions to rest. The test result came back negative for any drugs a few days later.

The Prime Minister also defended her right to separate work and leisure time, even as the leader of the country. She said that the days on which she partied didn’t coincide with any of her government work. She said that she had no meetings scheduled and that she partied responsibly, so her “ability to function was really good.”

Although the Prime Minister has been criticized by some, a large number of people have defended her. German newspaper Bild called her the “coolest Prime Minister in the world,” and many women have posted videos on social media of themselves dancing in support of the Finnish leader.

Some opposition politicians even criticized the debate over the partying. Saying that the government should be focused on more important issues than what the Prime Minister does in her free time.

The debate in Finland has focused on how politicians should be expected to behave and how much privacy they should be allowed as representatives. Marin said that she knew she was being filmed at the party but that she is disappointed the video was leaked. The Finnish media has said it has a duty to show the videos to the public because they are in the public interest. However, that isn’t something everyone agrees with.

Activities:

Difficult words

Look up the definition for each of the difficult words below. Write the definition next to each word.

  1. Under the influence –
  2. Vehemently –
  3. Coincide –
  4. Representative –
  5. Duty –

Next, create your own sentence for each of the difficult words above.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Write the Synonym!

Write a synonym for each of the difficult words below.

Word/Phrase Write the Synonym
1. Under the influence 
2. Vehemently
3. Coincide
4. Representative
5. Duty 

Fact vs. Opinion

Write down three facts from the story and three opinions.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Unscramble the sentence!

Put each sentence in the correct order.

1. politicians tested drugs for should be said Finnish Some she

2. back later result for drugs The few came any test a negative days

3. also defended leisure The to Prime her Minister right time work and separate

4. Bild world her Prime coolest the Minister in German the newspaper called

5. knew being Marin that party filmed at she said was the she

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Which side of the argument do you agree with?
5. Do you think the Prime Minister should have taken the drug test?
6. Have politicians in your country had this type of problem before?
7. Should the Finnish media have shown the videos?
8. How much privacy should politicians get?
9. Is partying common for young people in your country?
10. What’s the opinion on drug and alcohol use in your country?