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Santa sacks elves

April 16, 2004 at 4:35 PM

HELSINKI, Finland, April 16 (UPI) -- Three more worker elves at Santa Claus' official pole-away-from-home have gotten the jolly red slip from Finland's struggling Santa Park.

"It is really unfortunate that we had to fire them, but there is just no work," Park Director Wille Rajala told Sky News Friday. "The person who has been called the head elf still works for Santa Park."

The number of Santa's vertically challenged helpers is now down to two due to a lack of visitors.

It is a far jingle from the park's original plan to employ 120 of the green-clad Vulcans on monthly wages.

About 500 miles north as-the-reindeer-flies from Helsinki, the park is where letters addressed 'To Santa' arrive.

Santa Park made its first operating profit last year but the company's meter remained further in the red than Rudolph's nose with annual costs of some $500,000 remaining for the next 15 years to pay for the construction.

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