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Harri Holkeri

Harri Hermanni Holkeri (born January 6, 1937) is a Finnish politician who was Prime Minister of Finland between 1987 and 1991.

Rising to the post of prime minister as the first National Coalition Party of Finland leader in 43 years; his term in office was not considered to be particularly distinguished. The slouching economic conditions didn't leave much room to maneuvre for his incumbency.

As a politician whose principles frequently overrode the calculations that might have made him a statesman of the highest calibre, Harri Holkeri is getting grudged recognition now that his career in domestic politics is over.

His natural straightforward honesty often pitted him against the media. Serving during an incipient economic slump, one facetious reporter asked him, what his advice was for those who had trouble making ends meet; he replied that like him they should eat herring, a frugal source of nutrients. This was taken as a sign of callousness, though it was meant as an indication how modestly he himself lived.

Besides serving as speaker for the United Nations General Assembly, the lifework he will probably be best remembered is the extremely constructive, even perhaps vital role he had in securing the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Most observers agree that coming from a neutral country[?] he was the man on the George Mitchell[?] led team that both sides trusted most.

On his return from Northern Ireland Harri Holkeri got some payback for all the flack the media had shot at him. After the agreement had been reached after a grueling round-the-clocker, Harri Holkeri had enjoyed a "good bit of crack" (Irish idiom for fun, not drugs). When his plane landed at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the inebriated and jolly Holkeri was confronted by an reporter with a filming crew. When the television station decided to run the footage where he was visibly drunk, the public antipathy fell heavily on th broadcasting company. After the hard effort, most people thought he deserved to unwind. It was widely and deeply thought that his privacy had been grossly violated.

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