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4th graders have a ball at Independence Day bash

A record number of children took part in Helsinki’s annual fourth-graders’ Independence Day party on Tuesday.

Itsenäisyysjuhla
Image: Yle

The event gathers pupils from across the city at Finlandia Hall. Children practice dances  and party etiquette throughout the autumn term to prepare for the party, which mimics the formal reception that is normally held each year at the Presidential Palace.

This year that grown-up ball will take place in Tampere, as the president’s official residence is undergoing renovation work. The kids stayed in their normal spot however, and took over Finlandia Hall near Töölönlahti as usual.

It was the 17 time the event was organised, and Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen was hosting for the ninth year in a row. Some 5,100 children accepted his invtiation, around 200 more than in 2012.

The diminutive guests were welcomed by a military band, and once inside they got a surprise concert from hop-hop star Elastinen.

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Amid Grexit concerns, Finnish finance leaders offer assurances of ECB support and collateral

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After news of the Greek referendum broke, several pundits in Finland were quick to predict that Finland can wave goodbye to the seven billion euros in loans it has extended to the crippled economy of Greece in the last decade. Erkki Liikanen, Bank of Finland governor and member of the governing council of the European Central Bank since 2004, attempted to calm the waters on Tuesday, saying the ECB has all the necessary tools to address the situation should Sunday’s vote produce a negative result.

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