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APN Podcast: Finland's paid cost-cutters and pesky particles

What happens when consultants tell municipalities how to save money? And how do we avoid airborne transmission?

Sanna Marin
Image: Tommi Pylkkö / Yle, picture: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva
Yle News

With the coronavirus epidemic spreading rapidly in many parts of Finland, this week's All Points North show explores fresh restrictions and talk of new emergency measures.

You can listen to the full podcast via the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

Article continues after audio.

Aerosol angst

New infections reached nearly 500 in the country on Thursday, so APN asks Helsinki University aerosol scientist Mikael Ehn why he believes airborne particles are so efficient at spreading the virus.

"About 60 percent of cases in Finland have come from someone in the same household," he said, explaining this was evidence the virus was spreading through airborne transmission--even when people were keeping a distance.

So what can we do? Ehn told APN that cranking up ventilation systems and airing out rooms was the best way to dilute the air of free-drifting aerosols.

Corporate consultants meet small-town Finland

APN also probes why leaders in more than 100 cash-strapped municipalities use consultants to make tough decisions on public spending.

"These decisions are hard, they’re sometimes really hard and if you ask the person on the street, 'should we have fewer services', 'should we pay more taxes', everyone says 'no'. Politicians are dependent on votes and nobody wants to make these decisions, so sometimes it might be easier to get somebody from the outside," Hanna Takala, a producer for Yle investigative programme MOT, told APN.

But Yle found that private consultants pitching Finnish municipalities on how to save money don't always get it right. Listen in to find out what freezing swimming pools and management consultants have in common.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Egan Richardson and produced by Priya Ramachandran D'souza. The sound designer and audio engineer was Anders Johansson.

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