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Friday's papers: Electricity prices, school reform, Helsinki Halli and a Spotify hit

A 2020 reform that made higher education completely free of charge has lowered youth marginalisation, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

Sähkötalo, joka on suurelta osin punertavasta tiilestä rakennettu keskeinen rakennus Helsingin Kampissa.
Helen and other energy firms' customers have begun receiving notices alerting of electricity contract price increases in the coming weeks. Image: Kuvatoimisto Kuvio Oy
Yle News

Households powered by energy firm Helen have recently been notified of an upcoming sharp increase in prices, Swedish-speaking newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (HBL) reports.

Prices are set to soar by 58 percent on average with the increase set to especially affect customers with contracts that are valid indefinitely.

Other electricity companies including Tampere's electric utility Tampereen Sähkölaitos, are also handing out similar notices, the paper writes. The Tampere firm is set to double its price per KwH from September.

As a customer, one has the right to cancel their contract if they do not approve of the increase, according to HBL. Nevertheless, it may be difficult to find an electricity supplier with more favourable prices, the paper adds.

Reform behind better education equality

A 2020 reform to make schooling compulsory (and thus free) up to the age of 18 has promoted education equality, a recent student poll by the Union of Upper Secondary School Student found, Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (HS) writes.

Since the reform took force, there are no fees associated with the studies, so students' no longer need to purchase their own tools, computers, or educational materials.

Almost half of first-year students who responded to the barometer said that access to free learning materials influenced their decision to enrol in upper secondary school, HS reports.

The lack of study and material fees has mostly benefited students whose native language is other than Finnish, those whose parents have not received a higher education, and those who have at least one unemployed parent, according to the poll.

Arena for sale

Capital-based Helsinki Halli, previously known as 'Hartwall Areena', has been put up for sale with the price tag estimated at a whopping 50 million euros, tabloid Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (IL) reports.

The multipurpose arena located in Helsinki's Ilmala area has been lying more or less empty since the beginning of March this year.

Insider information retrieved by IL has revealed that at least five potential buyers have found interest in the property.

Secret hit song

A Finnish-produced song has found huge success via audio streaming platform Spotify, however few are familiar with its creator, Jani Oikarinen (artist name Janji), tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (IS) writes.

Electronic dance music track Heroes Tonight (siirryt toiseen palveluun) has garnered more than 150 million listens. The song has made it to the top five most played Finnish-produced songs on the platform. Darude's Sandstrom is the only entirely Finnish-produced track on Spotify that has been streamed more often, according to IS.

A number of sports and video gameplay videos on YouTube have featured Heroes Tonight, contributing to its success.

"Emotional and upbeat is often a good combo," Oikarinen told Ilta-Sanomat.

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