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Tuesday's papers: Niinistö-Biden talks, third jab priorities, gender pay gap

Most morning papers report a phone conversation between the Finnish and US presidents, and a planned call between Sauli Niinistö and Vladimir Putin.

Kolikoita kädellä.
Less than half the gender pay gap in Finland can be explained by factors such as education, specialisation, title, and hours worked. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

The Helsinki tabloid Ilta-Sanomat is one of the papers reporting that Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation on Monday.

The White House website said the two leaders had shared concerns about the situation in Ukraine. Biden also praised Finland's decision to choose American-made F-35 fighters to replace its aging fleet of F-18 Hornets. Biden is reported to have said that the purchase provides a strong foundation for closer bilateral defense cooperation in coming years.

According to the Office of the President of the of Finland, the main topic of discussion was the situation on Ukraine's borders. The two presidents said it was important to work together to find a diplomatic solution to the tense situation.

President Niinistö also expressed his condolences over deaths caused by tornadoes that have plagued the US in recent days.

On bilateral relations, Ilta-Sanomat writes that Niinistö told Biden about the main pillars of Finland's security policy and said he appreciated NATO's open door policy.

Later, via Twitter, Niinistö thanked Biden for "an excellent and deep-ranging conversation."

Earlier on Monday, Niinistö had a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about Mitsotakis' meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Sochi.

On Tuesday, President Niinistö is scheduled to have a telephone conversation with President Putin.

Which is more important - first or third jab?

The Swedish-language Helsinki daily Hufvudstadsbladet ponders whether or not everyone who has received two coronavirus vaccinations should hurry to get a third booster shot.

Interviewed by the paper, Ville Peltola, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Turku and chairman of the national expert group on vaccination issues (Krar), told the paper that he sees no need for a rush national campaign for a third dose of coronavirus vaccine.

"We should try to reach everyone over the age of 60 quickly, because they are at risk of serious illness. But for those under 60, there's not such a hurry. It is important that they do not take up appointment times that should be used by the elderly," said Peltola.

The emphasis, he believes, should be on giving everyone a first dose.

"In addition, it has not been five or six months after the second dose for most young people, so they should not even take the [booster] vaccine yet. However, it is very important that those who have not taken their first or second corona injection do so," he added.

Pay gap check

As Helsingin Sanomat points out, the gender pay gap is an eternal question to which there do not seem to be any simple answers.

It notes that according to one argument, the gender pay gap persists because it is not talked about and not enough is really known about it.

For this reason, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, which has a largely female membership, has been looking at wage transparency as a means of reducing the gap.

Youssef Zad, an economist at JHL has made an extensive statistical analysis of the gender pay gap based on international research data. In his study, Zad examines both the causes of the pay gap and the means by which the gap has been reduced.

“If women knew that male colleagues were getting more pay, maybe they would be more ready to demand pay increases,” Zad explained.

Helsingin Sanomat notes that some people still argue that claims of a gender wage gap are nonsense. Others see inequality in every workplace. According to Zad, a woman's euro can be 84 cents or 100 cents, depending on how you look it.

"At the level of the economy as a whole, a woman’s euro is 84 cents, but a woman working in the same job, with the same title, with the same educational background, is more likely to get the same pay as a man,” Zad points out.

There are pay gaps that can be explained by factors such as education, specialisation, title, hours worked, family situation, and so on. In Finland, however, these explain less than half of the pay gap. The remaining unexplained wage gaps may represent gender discrimination.

The Helsingin Sanomat article also includes a calculator, in Finnish, where one can see the average income in Finland for a large range of different jobs.

Scam warning

Iltalehti carries a renewed warning of a scam aimed at accessing users' account IDs and credit card information has been active on Instagram and Facebook for more than a month now.

Many users of these social media have been receiving messages that appear to be from a friend, but in reality their account has been hijacked and exploited. The messages can also come from a fake profile made to resemble the real profile of a friend.

The scam message attempts to get the victim to send his or her phone number and a verification code in a text message in order to hijack the account using Facebook's recovery feature.

In addition, the message may claim that the person has won a lottery that requires credit card information to be redeemed.

Finland's National Cyber Security Centre says scam campaign is still active. Messages may also now request Google account verification codes.

Cyber Security Centre is reminding social media users to never give anyone verification codes via text message.

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