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Monday's papers: Erdogan hints at Nato approval for Finland, snapping up bargains, slippery roads

Most morning papers report that Turkey's president has signalled support for Finland's Nato membership while still delaying Sweden's bid.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Image: Lehtikuva
Yle News

Helsingin Sanomat reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given the green light to Finland's Nato membership. In contrast, Erdoğan continues to withhold support for Sweden's membership.

In a speech televised on Sunday, Erdogan said, concerning Nato membership applications by the two countries that, "we may deliver Finland a different message and Sweden would be shocked when they see our message. But Finland should not make the same mistake Sweden did."

Finland's ambassador to Turkey, Ari Mäki, declined to comment to Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday evening about Erdoğan's remarks.

Turkey and Hungary are the only Nato member countries that have not yet accepted applications by Finland and Sweden to become members of the alliance. Hungary's government has announced it will ratify the membership applications in February.

Turkey has frozen negotiations on the issue because of what it sees as Swedish support for Kurdish separatists. Earlier in January, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that there has been no discussion on the separate evaluation of Finland's and Sweden's applications.

In another article (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Helsingin Sanomat reports that Paul Levin, director of the Turkish Studies Institute at Stockholm University, says that there was nothing new in the Erdoğan's remarks, although they were more pointed. In an interview with the Swedish news agency TT, Levin said that mainly Erdoğan underlined that he has a problem specifically with Sweden.

HS notes that last Tuesday, in an interview with Yle, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto indicated that there was a possibility that Finland could pursue membership without Sweden. Later that day, Haavisto clarified his statement and stressed that Finland's position on joining Nato at the same time as Sweden has not changed.

This week's All Points North podcast discussed Finland's Nato membership process, and the roadblock Turkey presents. Listen here:

Post-election partnerships

A fresh survey by the Uutissuomalainen newspaper group (siirryt toiseen palveluun) shows widespread support among conservative National Coalition Party representatives for a possible cabinet partnership with the Finns Party following this spring's parliamentary elections.

The poll found that over 50 percent of the NCP party congress representatives who responded to the question see the Finns Party as the most acceptable main partner, if and when forming a new government.

The clear second favourite was the SDP, which was named as the most suitable main government partner by more than 30 percent. The Centre Party and Swedish People's Party also received mentions in the survey, but both received less than 10 percent support.

The NCP representatives who pointed to the Finns Party as the best fit for a main cabinet partner said this is mainly because of similar views on economic policy.

The Uutissuomalainen poll gleaned responses from 60 percent of NCP party congress representatives. The overwhelming majority also said that they would not rule out government cooperation with any party.

Looking for bargains

The farmers' union paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus looks at a review of shopping trends (siirryt toiseen palveluun) carried out by the K-group of retail supermarkets.

The K-group says that shoppers are nowadays redeeming a record-high number of personal offers tailored to their own purchasing behaviour. In addition, more and more people are taking advantage of bundled offers and buying goods in larger lots.

At the same time, however, consumers are also more aware of the amount of food waste that occurs at home, and don't necessarily want to buy large quantities of perishable items at once. This is especially evident in smaller households.

The K-group says that in total more than a quarter of all purchases from its supermarkets are products on special offers.

Among sales items, older customers especially pick up on discounted offers on coffee.

Also among consumer trends is a shift to increased purchases of ground beef, instead of pricier cuts, and whole fresh fish, rather that more processed and more expensive fish products.

Rain, sleet, snow

Once again, most of the country has been hit by bad weather, making driving conditions hazardous or very hazardous in all regions except northern Lapland.

According to Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun), most of the day's precipitation will be in the form of rain in the south and southwest.

Roads are especially slippery in areas where snow is accumulating on already icy road surfaces.

Foreca meteorologist Joanna Rinne told the paper that the highest accumulation of fresh snow with be seen in North Karelia, North Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and northeastern parts of the country.

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