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Wednesday's papers: Trump-Putin, moves to limit motoring and Sipilä's climbdown

The press on Wednesday looks at a rumoured high-level summit in Helsinki, efforts to raise the cost of driving and Juha Sipilä's decision to avoid a vote of confidence in parliament.

Donald Trump ja Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Image: Mikhail Klimentyev / AFP
Yle News

Finland's media was all a-flutter on Tuesday evening when Reuters and Politico both reported that Helsinki is under serious consideration as a potential meeting place for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in mid-July. Citing a source familiar with the planning, Politico said that the meeting could be squeezed between Trump's trip to London on 13 July and the World Cup Final in Moscow on 15 July.

Finnish media picked up on the story, with Helsingin Sanomat asking researcher Teija Tiilikainen about the significance of a possible meeting between the US and Russian presidents in Helsinki.

"The meeting place is always carefully considered and accepted by both parties," said Tiilikainen. "Sure it says something about the esteem in which Finland is held internationally. At least neither country has strong objections to Helsinki as the location for a summit."

Ministry wants less driving

Ilta-Sanomat has looked through the statements and documents from a Transport Ministry working group on climate change, and found that--surprise surprise--the group intends to recommend increases in the cost of driving.

The pressure for this change is building, according to IS, because of stricter emissions targets and the long service Finns tend to squeeze out of their cars. A new vehicle purchased today, for instance, would on current trends still be guzzling petrol and belching out carbon in 2038.

Finland has to present a plan for steep cuts in emissions by December 2018, according to IS, and older cars on the roads are one of the many challenges its authors must deal with.

Sote stretches on, and on, and on.....

Transport metaphors were not in short supply in coverage of the latest developments in the long and winding journey of health and social care reform currently before parliament.

Iltalehti probably has the best, noting that in delaying the reform until 2021 parliament risks it being derailed by 'socialist revolution planning bicycle communists', mocking the idiom deployed by Foreign Minister Timo Soini on his left-baiting blog.

Sipilä had decided against calling a confidence vote in parliament after a parliamentary committee said it was unable to perform its scrutiny in time for the August deadline set by the government. That confidence vote could have been lost, given dissent in the National Coalition Party, and Sipilä instead settled for assurances that the Centre, NCP and Blue Reform parties were still behind his reform.

IL's editorial on the matter says that, despite Sipilä's climbdown, the reform is likely to pass into the next government's hands--and that administration might not include Sipilä's Centre Party.

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