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Tuesday's papers: Embassy impropriety, Viagra surge, US man's search for Finnish mother

Finnish newspapers on Tuesday featured coverage of the Secretary of State Peter Stenlund's address to Finnish diplomats on Monday. Stenlund voiced concern that the Foreign Ministry's upper management may be covering up for inappropriate behaviour and actions at Finnish embassies. Erectile dysfunction drugs are very popular in Finland. A US man who was given up for adoption in 1962 has taken to Facebook to find his Finnish birth mother.

Image: Yle

Finnish diplomats are gathering in Helsinki this week for the Annual Meeting of Heads of Mission to discuss world events like terrorism, Brexit and other pressing matters. However an incident which came to light last week about inappropriate behaviour at Finland's embassy in Sweden had to be addressed - if indirectly.

Last week the Foreign Ministry announced that Finland's Ambassador to Sweden, Jarmo Viinanen, would be reassigned to new duties in Finland following allegations of sexual harassment of embassy staffers and guests. On Thursday last week news agency STT reported that diplomatic staff had abused tax-exemption privileges to buy duty-free alcohol and cigarettes for employees who were not entitled to the perk.

Without specifically naming Viinanen or the embassy in Sweden, Secretary of State Peter Stenlund spoke to diplomats about the headline-grabbing topic on Monday, HBL wrote.

He said it seems that lower level embassy workers are hesitant to inform management about unfair treatment or even sexual harassment, because there is a perception that when complaints are made the message does not get through - or that the hierarchy protects management.

Stenlund said that this is not actually the case and that grievances are taken seriously and addressed appropriately.

Foreign Minister Timo Soini thanked Stenlund for his comments.

"All this should be taken seriously. I cannot go into individual cases but all workers in the missions - whether they are permanent employees or not, whether they are Finnish or foreign nationals - must be treated professionally," Soini said.

"It is good that things are not hidden and that we learn," Soini said, adding that he had encouraged Stenlund to raise the issue and was grateful that he spoke up, the paper writes.

Jarmo Viinanen - the diplomat at the centre of the controversies in Sweden - was also present at the meeting. Viinanen did not say much to reporters on Monday but described the atmosphere as good. It remains unclear which new job Viinanen will be given at the ministry, the paper writes.

The annual Heads of Mission meeting continues in Helsinki until Thursday.

Rise of Viagra, Cialis in Finland

They may not talk about it much - even to their physicians - but Finnish men use erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra and Cialis quite a lot, Helsingin Sanomat reports.

The paper carried out a survey of 500 men, 40 percent of which said that talking about erectile dysfunction was difficult.

Even though prices for the drugs - which earlier cost 10 euros per pill - have dropped to about 20 to 30 cents per pill, men are still ashamed to ask their doctors for help and often buy them illegally from the internet, even with the inherent risks involved.

The paper writes that, according to Finnish Customs, erectile dysfunction medications are one of the most illegally-imported drugs in Finland. But up to 90 percent of the preparations illicitly ordered online are entirely fake.

Sexual medicine physician Juhana Piha told the paper that up to 20 percent of fake imports could even be life-threatening, saying that imports labelled as Viagra or Cialis have sometimes contained sawdust, floor wax, amphetamines or "just about anything."

According to the paper, Finnish men use erectile dysfunction drugs about three times as much as men in Sweden, the paper writes.

US man's search for Finnish mother

A US man who was born to an 18-year-old Finnish woman in Florida in 1962 has taken to Facebook and taken a DNA test to track her down, Ilta-Sanomat writes.

His Finnish mother reportedly gave birth while visiting Florida but returned to Finland after putting the baby up for adoption. The child's father was reportedly a 19-year-old Finnish man, the paper writes.

Now 54 years old Andy created a Facebook page to find his parents. He says that he had taken a DNA test that created more questions than answers.

On the post he asked "Do I have your smile? Do I have your eyes?"

"You are my biological parents and I am grateful to you because thanks to you I have had a good life... Have you thought about me over the years? Have you ever wondered what became of me?"

As of publication of this press review, Andy's Facebook post had been shared more than two thousand times.

Sources: Yle, Helsingin Sanomat, Hufvudstadsbladet, Ilta-Sanomat

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