Skip to content
The article is more than 9 years old

Monday's papers: More on airspace violations, debts growing for pensioners, and the sound of hungry dogs

The newsstand tabloid Iltasanomat carries an item this morning in which a senior reseacher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Charly Salonius-Pasternak, analyzes Russia's motivation for the growing number of airspace violations that have taken place of late.

Venäläinen An 72 -tyyppinen kuljetuskone.
Puolustusvoimien tänään julkaisema tunnistuskuva venäläiskoneesta. Image: Ilmavoimat

Russian military aircraft violated Finland's airspace twice in May and three times in August. Similar incidents have been reported by other countries, including Sweden and Estonia.

In an interview with the Finnish News Agency STT,  carried by Iltasanomat, Charly Salonius-Pasternak of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs says that the airspace violations are a message to nations around the Baltic Sea. That message is that Russia has returned as a strong player in the region.

According to Salonius-Pasternak, the tougher line being taken by Russia is also evident from reports of Russian planes flying over the Black Sea with their radios and even their transponders switched off.

He points out that there is a danger in this harder line that a situation could escalate through a chain of unintentional events. However, this Finnish researcher believes that this is all more a reflection of general changes than a carefully orchestrated series of events.

"Is it possible that the central leadership has sent out orders 'show them we're here, we're not afraid'? It can look like that when one goes further down the chain of command," Salonius-Pasternak told STT.

He did add, though, that the Russian leadership could bring an end to airspace violations if it wanted to do so.

According to Charly Salonius-Pasternak, actions such as these airspace violations are increasing mistrust and tensions in the international atmosphere.

Debt problems for pensioners

Finland's largest circulation daily, Helsingin Sanomat looks at the growing problem of indebtedness among pensioners.

The paper quotes figures from the Guarantee Foundation to the effect that the number of people over the age of 60 seeking help for debt and payment problems has nearly doubled since 2011. Meanwhile, according to the credit information agency Asiakastieto, the fastest growing group experiencing payment problems are people between the ages of 65 and 69.

Helsingin Sanomat points out that there numerous reasons that this is happening. One very simple explanation is that the population is ageing and the older age group is swelling. But not only is the number of people on pensions rising, these people also have different consumer profiles than did past older generations.

If a pensioner's personal finances are tight, unexpected expenditures, such as those caused by illness can easily tip them into the red.

But, while older people are used to a lifestyle of spending on personal consumption, they can't be accused of being selfish. According to Juha Pantzar of the Guarantee Foundation, in addition of illness, a typical factor straining the finances of older people is their effort to help out their offspring, for example, adult children who have become unemployed.

Rent rise for Turku businesses

Turun Sanomat reports that the City of Turku has shocked local businesses with an announcement of steep raises in rents for publically-owned premises. In some cases rents for commercial premises are being up by as much as 200%.

The move came as a surprise to local entrepreneurs, such as Hannu Elo, whose rent for the facilities used by the Sirkiä bakery in the Runosmäki district will go up from 7,000 euros a month to over 20,000 at the start of the year.

"Businesses are absolutely gobsmacked. This is not the way for the municipality to draw in entrepreneurs," Elo told the paper.

Officials told Turun Sanomat that the city of not trying to make life harder for businesses. The reasoning is that the law says that the city must charge market rates for rented land and rented premises. Providing cut-rate rents would constitute illegal subsidies to local businesses.

In addition, the city is looking for more revenues to strengthen weakening public finances.


The winter tourism season is just getting underway in Finnish Lapland, and one of the open-air draws for both tourists and locals alike, dog-sledding is again taking off.

As temperatures cool, sled dogs spend more time in harness, need more energy and that also means they need and get more food.

The Rovaniemi-based newspaper Lapin Kansan on Monday provided its readers with a short video clip and a chance to hear how it sounds when the 430 Huskies at a sled dog kennel in Muonio let their keepers know they think it's time to eat.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia