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Katainen: "Kanerva Broke His Promise" to Behave

A somber Jyrki Katainen faced the press on Tuesday to explain his reasons for sacking Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva. The National Coalition Party Chair insisted that Kanerva had been an excellent Minister, but had broken a promise to keep his personal life in check. Katainen said that Kanerva's past indiscretions were an issue when he was being considered for the post of Foreign Minister. "A number of people expressed concerns about the choice of Ilkka Kanerva for the post because of his colourful personal life. Despite these concerns, I wanted to trust him," said Katainen. "I discussed with him that I didn't want any... personal incidents that would put him in a questionable position and create an uncomfortable position for those of us who supported him. He promised me it wouldn't happen," Katainen said, and paused for a while. "But he was unable to keep this promise." Text Message Details Irrelevant Katainen expressed repeatedly what a difficult time the past few weeks had been for Kanerva and the people around him. Katainen said that he considers Kanerva a good friend and an excellent Foreign Minister, one who has done a great deal of good for Finland in the year he has held the job. At times Katainen appeared visibly upset and had to pause before continuing his statement. He said he was not moved by the actual content of the salacious SMS messages, which were published on Tuesday, after Katainen had already made up his mind. In the end, he says, he had to look at the big picture. "Kanerva has demonstrated poor judgement in his personal life, he hasn't kept his promise, and he no longer has the complete trust that every minister must have. In this light, his ability to work as a foreign minister is severely compromised." "Everyone Needs Forgiveness" Katainen said repeatedly that his decision was not a punishment, but merely a result of the fact Kanerva had lost the public's confidence. He was not being sacked as a punishment, insited Katainen. "Everyone needs to be forgiven once in a while," he said, but added that Kanerva had used up his last chance. He also denied that he was simply bowing to media pressure. "I will probably be blamed for bending to the will of the media. To be honest, I am making the decision that I feel is correct, and I'm prepared to risk getting the blame." Foreign Minister Kanerva Sacked over SMS Scandal MEP Stubb is Finland's New Foreign Minister Minister Resignations over the Years

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