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Monday's papers: Daylight savings time, gun permits, warehouse fire, windy weather

A citizens' initiative to abolish daylight savings time is gaining in popularity, reports today's Metro. Turun Sanomat says that getting a gun permit in the Turku region is more difficult than anywhere else in the country. And, late-edition papers headlined a major fire at a commercial facility in Vantaa.

sanomalehdet newspapers
Image: E.D.Hawkins / Yle

If you were not thrilled about setting the clock ahead by an hour once again over the weekend, you have lots of company.

The freesheet Metro reports that as of Sunday afternoon a citizens' initiative to abolish daylight savings time had gained over 33,000 signatures, up by around 10,000 in just a week.

There are still two weeks left for the initiative to get the 50,000 signatures required for it to go to Parliament.

The current system of daylight savings time is based on a 2002 EU directive. Because of that, Finland cannot not unilaterally abolish it, but backers of the initiative are calling on national authorities to pressure Brussels on the issue. Last year, a group of Finnish members of the European Parliament did, in fact, propose an end to daylight savings time to the EU Commission.

At least one government partner, the Finns Party, has announced its support for abolishing the twice-annual reset of clocks.

Tough on gun permits

If you are keen on hunting, then the Turku region is probably not the best choice of residence.

Turun Sanomat reports today that the vast majority, up to 80%, of the complaints about rejected gun permit applications registered by the Finnish Hunters' Association come from the southwest of the country.

Many applicants have complained about what they say is arbitrary decision making by police in Turku. It's claimed that police authorities there impose a stricter interpretation of gun laws than anywhere else in the country.

Tero Simenius of the Finnish Hunters' Association told the paper that his organization registers almost no complaints about police permit processing from other parts of Finland.

Chief Inspector Tarja Ranta of the National Police Board defended the tough line in the Turku region, indicating to Turun Sanomat that the problem is that police in other areas are overly liberal in issuing gun permits.

Varsinais-Suomi regional police say that the intention has not been to build a reputation as the toughest gun control department in the land.

"We believe we are enforcing the law. In our view, our approach to gun permits is a big part of Finland's security," says the unit's Chief Inspector Stefan Sundqvist.

Warehouse fire

Late edition papers, such as the newsstand tabloids Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti, featured reports on a major fire at a commercial facility owned by Lassila&Tikanoja in Vantaa, close to the Jumbo shopping mall.

The blaze broke out soon after midnight, but was brought under control during the morning hours. There are no reported injuries, but clouds of smoke from the fire caused problems with visibility on nearby highways and led to the re-routing of some public transport buses.

About that weather

The Tampere-based Aamulehti reports that blustery winds felled trees and cut power to thousands of households overnight, especially in the southeast of the country, but also in southern and central regions. By Aamulehti's count, at one point Sunday evening, up to 16,000 households were without electricity.

Rail traffic between Kouvola and Mikkeli was also suspended last night because of damage caused by high winds.

While windy, Sunday was also the warmest day of the year so far in many areas, according to Ilta-Sanomat.

The day's high was recorded in Mariehamn, in the Åland Islands, where the thermometer crept up to 15.9C.

The capital region was also unusually warm for the time of year, with a high of 12C at Kaisaniemi in the centre of Helsinki.

It was good while it lasted. Foreca Meteorologist Olga Kukkonen told the paper that Monday will continue relatively warm, but a chill is forecast to set in again nationwide.

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