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Monday's papers: Slopestyle silver, foreigner employment and Lapland football stand renovation

Enni Rukajärvi's progress to becoming something of a national treasure dominated the press on Monday, as Finland celebrated its first medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The risk of TB among foreigners, tough Finnish language requirements from employers and a renovation plan for the home of Lapland football were also in the news.

Warkauden Lehti ja Iisalmen Sanomat.
Image: Veli-Pekka Hämäläinen / Yle

The top story in the papers was, of course, snowboarder Enni Rukajärvi's silver medal at the Winter Olympics, Finland's first at the games. Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat christened her "the people's Enni", Helsingin Sanomat mentioned her musical choices on competition day (Finnish punk, apparently), and most of the print editions splashed her picture across the front page.

Urheilulehti's Jari Kupila was equally overjoyed, but could not resist an acid swipe at the committee men in Finland's ample sporting bureaucracy, who have spent years trying to increase participation and win more medals, but rarely seem to have considered slopestyle  snowboarding.

"Emphasis is considered, strategies are made," said Kupila sardonically in the magazine's distinctive journalist-interview format. "And then this "slopestyle" becomes an Olympic sport and some "Emmi R" or "Jenni R" or "what-was-her-name-again" is a world champion and Olympic medallist."

In other news, Helsingin Sanomat featured a report on unemployment among foreigners. Unemployment among foreign citizens started to rise during the 2009 recession, reports HS, and in December stood at 30,000. The problem is often language, in that employers demand good Finnish skills before they take on staff. Labour market experts and politicians are urging employers to rethink this strategy, but so far without much success.

TB risk growing

Swedish daily Hufvudstadsbladet reports on efforts to test more foreign-born youngsters for tuberculosis following a surge in cases among young people born abroad. At present only refugees and asylum seekers from risk countries are tested, but the National Institute for Welfare and Health (THL) wants to expand testing to cover students and other immigrants from risky countries.

Lapland paper Lapin Kansa has space for two prominent sports stories. In addition to Rukajärvi's medal, the Rovaniemi daily reports on plans to renovate the town's football stadium by building a new main stand to house 2,000 spectators. The issue moved to the top of the agenda last year, when local side RoPS qualified for the Europa League by winning the Finnish Cup.

Their home ground is not able to stage European matches, forcing Finland's northern football institution to play its home matches more than 200 kilometres away in Oulu. That situation will change thanks to the planned renovation, which Lapin Kansa reports is scheduled for completion in 2015 and will cost 4.2 million euros.

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