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Friday’s papers: Opposition cheers arms export ban to Saudi Arabia, Iraqi deportations and Finnish Black Friday

Opposition parties welcome a freeze on future arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, mixed messages on forced returns to Iraq and Finland's Black Friday.

Ihmisiä kadulla talvivaatteissa.
Image: YLE
Yle News

The Green and Left Alliance opposition parties have applauded the government’s decision (siirryt toiseen palveluun) not to grant any new arms export licences for Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, reports the online newspaper Uusi Suomi.

”Finally!” tweeted Emma Kari, a Green MP, while Hanna Sarkkinen of the Left Alliance commented on Twitter: ”It’s great that the government has reversed its policy." The Left Alliance, however, criticised the government for not extending the ban to cover current arms licenses.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry said the decision was primarily driven by the alarming humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is involved in a military conflict with rebel Houthi groups. Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen civil conflict in 2015 and has launched deadly air strikes that have claimed many civilian lives.

Iraqi deportation confusion

Seven Iraqi nationals await deportation (siirryt toiseen palveluun) at the Joutseno detention centre in eastern Finland, despite the fact that Finland suspended forced deportations to Iraq over a month ago, writes Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Finland decided to suspend forced returns to Iraq after the country announced it would not accept anyone not returning voluntarily.

The police in Finland have deported 150 Iraqi citizens so far this year, 128 of whom were returned to Iraq. Almost all of these deportations were what are known as forced returns, when the person being deported does not voluntarily leave the country.

Finnish Black Friday

Finland has put its own spin on the American sale extravaganza Black Friday, according to business magazine Talouselämä, noting that grocery stores here have joined the shopping bonanza (siirryt toiseen palveluun) typically associated with retail and electronics.

The Finnish Commerce Federation highlights discount grocer Lidl’s Black Friday special on potatoes for 49 cents per kilo and ABC service stations' Black Friday buffet deals.

In Finland, the American pre-Christmas extravaganza has morphed into a week-long sale that is expected to break previous previous Finnish Black Friday records.

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