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Barroso Praises Turku as European Capital of Culture

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso visited the city of Turku in south west Finland on Saturday. Turku is the second European Capital of Culture of 2011.

José Manuel Barroso Turun pääkirjastossa.
José Manuel Barroso tutustui Turun pääkirjastoon. Image: YLE / Petri Vilén

During his visit Barroso discussed the role of mid-size cities in Europe. The Baltic Sea strategy was also on the agenda.

On Saturday afternoon, Barroso was given a tour of the city's library and the ecologically built home of artist Jan-Erik Andersson.

This was the EU Commission President’s first visit to Turku. Barroso said he was aware of the city’s history.

“I’m very impressed with what you have achieved as the European capital of culture. I’m sure this will be a very successful year for you,” he added.

A group of demonstrators outside the city of Turku library protested against the recent demolition of old buildings in the city. A few weeks ago, an old wooden Jugend-style building fell victim to the demolition squad.

Barroso told the protestors he had heard about the matter but stressed it was a local problem.

Barroso’s visit to Turku followed his participation at the meeting of the European Parliament EPP group in Helsinki on Friday.

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