Finland's Centre and National Coalition parties are in a virtual dead heat, some seven months ahead of the next general elections. The difference between their support falls within the margin of error of Yle’s August survey.
Following an interview in which Social Affairs and Health Minister Laura Räty questioned how many people actually earn less than 2,600 euros per month, the JHL union met with the minister to explain “what life is like for those in low-paid jobs”.
Waste disposal company Ekokem announced that its Riihimäki plant is ready to begin incinerating the final batch of toxic waste following the completion of an international operation to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. However questions remain over whether the regime of President Assad is continuing to use poison gas against its people.
OSM Aviation will initially provide flight attendants and stewards on Finnair’s Hong Kong and Singapore routes. The Finnish flag carrier plans to expand its partnership with OSM.
Research by the farmers' union MTK and the Ministry of Agriculture outlines fundamental changes in the structure of the farming industry, with smaller farms being swallowed up by larger-scale agriculture. The study also claims that retiring farmers are facing increasing difficulties finding entrepreneurs willing to take over the business.
Finnish Hornet jets will continue to fly reconnaissance sorties during the week ahead, as the country reacts to a series of airspace incursions by Russian aircraft. A Defence Force spokesman says the aerial surveillance will continue until further notice.
The city of Helsinki has decided on deep cuts to the number of teaching assistants it employs. However the spending reductions won’t affect students’ personal assistants.
The French nuclear plant contractor Areva says the long-delayed Olkiluoto nuclear power reactor could be ready in mid-2016, allowing the operator to fire up the facility for commercial use at the beginning of 2018. But Finnish operator Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said a 2018 start simply isn’t good enough.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will name up to seven new commission vice presidents this week. Former Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen has been tipped to become one of them, in effect taking on the role of a "super commissioner", according to an EU source.
Ukraine is still in the news viewfinder Monday morning, with dailies also examining how one oligarch is bearing up under the weight of western sanctions. Proposed restrictions on over-the-counter-drugs, raids on "ethnic restaurants" and bedbugs are also on the breakfast menu.
Critics in the Baltics have considered the EU's new foreign policy chief’s comments on Russia too lax, but Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja says Federica Mogherini has expressed herself with balanced and intelligent turns of phrase.
Sunny weather coupled with quickly cooling nights means that Thursday may see summery climes in the south, while night lows were at a chilly -2.7 degrees Celsius in Northern Ostrobothnia.
The autumn will be even bleaker than the summer in terms of unemployment, according to employment experts. Firms are no longer simply putting employees on furlough, but are more eager to terminate their agreements outright. One researcher says that the situation can now be described as mass unemployment.
The Finnish national basketball team gathered its strength after their defeat at the hands of the USA yesterday, and today beat Ukraine’s team 81—76 in the basketball world championships in Bilbao, Spain.
Finland’s female athletics team lost to Sweden’s national women’s team in the championships held in Helsinki. But in the men’s javelin, Finnish competitors won all three top places, and Finland’s youth teams also beat their Swedish counterparts.
For a child who has just relocated to Finland, adapting to the country’s school system is a challenge that teachers are now trying to alleviate. But in high school applications, aspiring students with low Finnish competence often run into severe obstacles. The National Board of Education says that Finland’s language teaching resources are well placed, while a professor from Jyväskylä wants the myth of difficulty surrounding Finnish to be broken.
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja says that Iran is on the path to normalized relations with the outside world. Tuomioja is in Tehran to meet the country’s senior leadership.
Finns and other EU citizens travelling to Estonia between Sunday and Wednesday will need proof of identity. The increased border control measure is due to US president Barack Obama’s visit to Estonia next week.
Finland’s World Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start on Saturday night when the team was thrashed 114-55 by the USA. They get a chance to bounce back on Sunday when they take on Ukraine in their second game of the World Cup tournament.
As the European Union prepares a fresh round of sanctions on Russia, Finland says it will work to ensure the new package is fair. The country’s economy has been hit hard by the previous round of tit-for-tat trade measures.
The person piloting the aircraft says he built the plane himself, and was taking it on ”a little jaunt”.
Poland’s Prime Minister since 2007, 57-year-old Donald Tusk has a long history in his country’s politics. At the same time in Brussels, Italy’s Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini was appointed the EU’s new foreign policy chief. Jyrki Katainen did not turn out to be the "dark horse" of the appointments.
A shortage of doctors has driven five Central Finnish municipalities to look into whether their health centres could be incorporated, or constituted as a legal corporation. The model would allow doctors to buy into their company’s shares and draw occupational dividends in addition to their earned income.
This weekend’s clear weather will bring with it colder nights. Sunday night may see frost appearing as far south as Central Finland, says Yle meteorologist.
Nearly a thousand new foreign students are starting their studies at the Univeristy of Tampere. The new undergraduates moving around the autumnal campus are getting to grips with Finnishness in all its forms.
The 35-year-old female bottle-nose dolphin was described by her custodians as the most docile and teachable of the Särkänniemi pod. Näsi suffered from a chronic liver complaint. Discussion surrounding the ethical basis of keeping dolphins in captivity has been widespread.
Defence forces announced on Saturday that up to 8,000 reservist troops will undergo training in the eastern region of Pielinen Karelia in June 2015.
Finland is hosting this year’s international Northern Coasts military exercise in Turku. Several dozen warships appeared on the Aura river yesterday.
A 19-year-old Japanese woman rocked her way to victory at this year’s annual Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu yesterday. But despite having hosted the international tournament for 19 years, Finland's home-grown air-axe-wielders rarely make it to the finals board. Organisers blame a lack of grassroots enthusiasm - and a preference for being in the audience to going up on stage.
Speaking on Yle's Saturday politics show, the prime minister classified recent repeated incursions into Finnish airspace as deliberate attempts by Russia to provoke. He also vehemently defended Finland's partnership status with Nato, denying the country is inching towards membership of the military alliance.
Finnish mobile technology company Nokia plans to build a high-speed 5G data transfer test network. The company has already made a decision-in-principle on the matter and named two staffers to take forward construction of the network, with actual testing to begin early next year.
Finland’s Air Force said Friday that it had moved some equipment to the Helsinki-Vantaa international airport. According to Defence Force communications chief Mika Kalliomaa hardware has also been positioned at other airports. At the same time residents of the capital area reported several sightings of Hornet jets Friday afternoon.
Back in 2005 Finland adopted a policy of immediate disclosure of all airspace violations. The goal of the naming and shaming approach was to reduce the number of such incidents. The scheme appeared to work: the following year in 2006, there was only one reported incident.
Trucks carrying lactose-free milk products by the Finnish dairy company Valio are to return to their Lappeenranta depot after being stopped at the Russian border earlier this week. The company must now decide whether to dump the products or donate them to charity. A separate permit from the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira would be required to retail the goods in Finland.
Some Turku residents received the fleet of warships on the Aura river with open arms. The ships will be taking part in the Northern Coasts war exercise, and are open to the public on August 30—31. Saturday will see anti-Nato demonstrations in the south-western city.
The nominal yields for occupational pension funds between January and June stood at 4.4 percent, according to an investment study by the Finnish Pension Alliance TELA. The funds will be used to offset rising pension costs in the coming years, one analyst says.
Finland’s Air Force has lowered its threshold for responding to airspace incidents following this week’s spate of airspace incursions by Russian aircraft.
Tech giant Microsoft announced Friday that closure of its Oulu research and development unit will go ahead as planned, with the majority of cuts made by the end of the year.
Finland’s defence minister describes ”frustration” at the news of a third alleged airspace incursion within a week and announces stepped-up surveillance by Hornet fighters, in an apparent hardening of attitudes towards Russia’s actions.
The Finnish government came to terms over its spending plan for 2015 yesterday. Education and child benefit disagreements brought the talks close to crisis levels, Finance Minister Antti Rinne says, but that compromises were finally made. See what various Finnish organisations have to say about the new budget.
Assessing who the winners and losers are in this year’s budget is the main news focus this morning, with the papers reflecting on the pensioners set to pocket slightly more, as well as claims of gaping holes in the government’s plans for economic recovery. The tabloids, meanwhile, see cause for alarm in increasing tensions between Finland and Russia.
During the past year, thousands of workers in Finland have felt the chill of unexpected joblessness. Employers and unemployment funds help dull the financial pain of job loss to some extent. But for many employees of smaller companies there's little psychological support for adjusting to life without work.
Nearly all foreign builders working for non-Finnish companies in this country are being underpaid, claims the construction union.
A fault at a transmitter in Espoo left about one million people without reception of the Finnish Broadcasting Company's TV channels for about 50 minutes on Thursday evening. Normal service was restored shortly before 8.30 pm.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb's cabinet has agreed on the budget plan for next year.
In an unusual move on Thursday afternoon, the Finnish Air Force released a photo of a Russian Border Guard plane, which it says was taken in Finnish airspace on Thursday. According to veteran foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja, Finland’s leaders are awaiting more details about an apparent third case within a week of a Russian official plane straying into its airspace.
The Young Designer of the Year award, which comes with a grant of 5,000 euros, has been handed to shoe designer Minna Parikka. Her style is characterised by a humorous and playful approach – and bunny ears.
Yet another Russian aircraft has strayed into Finnish airspace. In the latest incident, a Russian transport plane is suspected of flying over Finland around mid-day Thursday. Defence Minister Carl Haglund said Thursday Finland will heighten its air surveillance activities as a result of the incursions.
Only highly educated middle-class citizens and labourers are safe in Finnish society, according to sociology professor Juho Saari. Depression and loneliness caused by unemployment are up in Finland, and the poor are not treated well, the professor says.
Four Valio trucks are being held at the Russian border at Vaalimaa. Russian authorities are not letting the trucks deliver lactose-free products to Russia because they claim Valio does not have the proper certification to transport lactose-free milk.
NATO membership will be the next logical step for Finland and Sweden following their signing of a Host Nation Support Memorandum of Understanding with NATO, says the chair of the Russian Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The comments by committee chair Aleksey Pushkov were reported Wednesday by the state news agency Itar-Tass.
Workers at the Pitäjänmäki factory in Helsinki say the stoppage is due to a new salary-cutting piecework pay model being pushed by the company.
The government’s technical research centre VTT has begun co-determination talks aimed at reducing its workforce by 14.5 percent. The organisation blamed the proposed payroll cut on falling demand in the domestic private sector and government’s ongoing cost-cutting programme.
Modern aeroplanes like new Asia-bound A350s can have functioning internet connections without the need for base stations. Linking all of Finnair’s planes to the web using such stations would cost millions, the national carrier says.