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Monday's papers: National Sámi Day, energy push and a warm breeze

Finland is set to briefly witness the first signs of spring, thanks to warm Föhn winds blowing into the country.

Saamelaiset nuoret osoittavat mieltään eduskuntatalon portailla.
The government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) appointed in October a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine historical injustices suffered by Finland's indigenous Sámi people. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle
Yle News

Finland celebrates National Sámi Day on Monday, writes farming union newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (MT).

The day commemorates the first Sámi Assembly, held in Norway's Trondheim in 1917.

The Sámi are an indigenous group mostly residing in Finland's Lapland region as well as neighbouring areas of Sweden, Norway and Russia. One of the main points of contention during last autumn's political cycle was the Sámi Parliament law.

Sámi Day celebrations have traditionally been held in the various parts of the indigenous people's region, but nowadays celebrations are also organised elsewhere, MT writes.

In Helsinki for example, the celebrations will begin with the raising of the Sámi flag in front of Oodi library at 9am.

For those up north, the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos in Inari will host an open day and will be introducing, among other things, the activities of the Sámi Parliament.

Read our latest card story on Sámi rights activist Janne Hirvasvupio here.

Worst over for energy crisis?

Tabloid Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun)(IL) asks on Monday morning whether the energy crunch is finally over for Finland, in light of lowering electricity prices.

Finnish power grid operator Fingrid's CEO Jukka Ruusunen gives the paper a cautiously optimistic answer.

"It's still worth watching out in the [remaining] winter months, but the worst seems to be past us," Ruusunen says.

Typically, energy consumption is at its peak between December and February, which is why the grid operator's head says that the worst is likely over for Finland.

Ruusunen says that the country weathered the crisis well, largely thanks to effective energy-saving efforts, such as the 'one degree lower' campaign.

In December, people in Finland managed to save the equivalent amount of electricity consumed by a large nuclear power plant unit, according to Ruusunen.

"When we started this, we had no idea how people would get on board, how much electricity will they save and how they'd react if things got tight," he said, adding that "there's been a sense of group effort that I'd never seen before."

These efforts were further aided by a mild winter, which kept electricity prices down, IL adds.

"A 10-degree difference in temperature is roughly equivalent to the electricity production capacity of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant unit in terms of electricity consumption," Ruusunen told the paper, indicating just how crucial an impact the weather can have during such crises.

A breath of spring

Finland is set to enjoy a spell of warmer, more spring-like weather in the coming week, tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (IS) writes.

The winter weather of the recent days will give way to sunshine and above-zero temperatures, as dry and warm Föhn winds blow into Finland. This could push the mercury up to 3-5 degrees Celsius in western areas, for example, IS notes.

Iiris Viljamaa of the Finnish Meteorological Institute tells the paper that while the weather may feel unseasonably warm, Föhn winds are a recurring phenomenon in Finland every year.

The Föhn winds may grow stronger during Wednesday night and Thursday, with storm warnings in place for sea areas on those days.

The weather is expected to get colder again by Friday, as new winds blow in from the north. Daytime temperatures will also then drop back down to below freezing again.

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