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Monday’s papers: Putin preparations, strong beer at corner shops, heat wave fizzles

In the Finnish print media, the last week of July starts off with standard Finnish summer topics: weather, alcohol and berry-picking, as well as this week's visit by the Russian president.

Korpihillat ovat parhaimmillaan jopa kirsikkatomaatin kokoisia
Cloudberry picking techniques are heating up locals in northern Finland, even if the mercury's not. Image: Vesa Vaarama / Yle

Savon Sanomat carries a survey on alcohol opinions by its Uutissuomalainen group of papers. In the run-up to a reform of alcohol laws to be considered by Parliament in September, people were asked whether they agree that beers and alcopops with an alcohol content of over 4.7 percent should be available at grocery stores – rather than only at state-owned Alko outlets as they are now.

More than half of poll respondents said that stronger beverages should be available at regular shops, the Kuopio-based paper says.

Just over 60 percent agreed that either stronger beers and alcopops or both should be sold at groceries. One in 10 said that only higher-octane beer should be available while two percent said the same about alcopops.

Meanwhile about one in three oppose any move to make higher-test drinks more readily available.

There was a clear gender split, with 70 percent of men and just half of women favouring looser regulation.

IS: Savonlinna gears up for Putin visit

Ilta-Sanomat's front page leads off with questionable berry-picking habits, with a veteran harvester in Kemi "shocked" by seeing Thai seasonal workers collecting unripe cloudberries for sale, including the stems. The local man says he showed the pickers the right technique and contacted a man who buys their berries for sale at various markets.

The paper also looks into the eastern city of Savonlinna's preparations for this week's visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Finnish opposite number, Sauli Niinistö. The two will hold talks on Thursday at the Punkaharju Hotel, east of the city centre, before taking a lake cruise to Savonlinna's Olavinlinna Castle to attend an opera.

And naturally the bestselling tabloid's front page addresses the foremost topic on the minds of many vacationers: the weather forecast, complete with the requisite photo of skimpily-clad women in sunglasses. The paper promises to reveal where the hottest spots in the country will be this week. In brief: head north.

AL: Heatwave takes a left turn

Tampere's Aamulehti also looks in-depth at the forecast. Sunday's meteorological promises of a minor heat wave seem to be fading on Monday, with this summer's familiar cool, cloudy variable conditions continuing in most areas.

The paper quotes a Foreca meteorologist as saying that the warm air mass expected to blanket the country seems to be heading from eastern Finland to Lapland, giving the rest of the country a miss. Most other areas will seem temperatures languishing below 20 degrees Celsius with a chance of showers. In southern and central Finland, Thursday and Friday should be warmer. In the meantime the highest readings will be in Lapland, but still rarely breaching the magic 25-degree mark.

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