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Infection sends Foreign Minister Soini on sick leave

The minister was admitted to hospital because of a high fever.

Timo Soini
Timo Soini Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

Foreign Minister Timo Soini is on sick leave after being admitted to hospital with a high fever caused by an infection.

Soini was due to leave for Iceland on Sunday for an official visit scheduled to last until Tuesday. However the trip will now be postponed.

The minister’s special aide Riikka Taivassalo told Finnish news agency STT that it is not yet known how long Soini will be on sick leave.

The minister recently stared down a confidence vote brought by opposition parties over his public anti-abortion stance, which is seen to be at odds with official Finnish foreign and development policy.

Soini is a member of the Blue Reform, a junior government partner which split from the Finns Party in June 2017 when immigration hardliner Jussi Halla-aho was elected chair. Yle's latest political barometer shows the Blues polling at around one percent in terms of voter approval, well within the survey's 2.1-percentage-point margin of error.

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