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Wednesday's papers: Transport strike, young voters like Finns Party, former auditor appeal

Almost 30 percent of first-time voters would cast their vote for the Finns Party, according to a recent HS survey.

Vaalimakkaran paistoa Vaasan torilla eduskuntavaalit 2023.
File photo of Finns Party campaigners grilling sausages to help draw in prospective voters to talk to. Image: Antti Haavisto / Yle
Yle News

Many papers reported about the strike that the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT) launched on Wednesday. The trade union represents professionals across transport sectors including lorry drivers as well as oil tanker and port workers.

The industrial action began at just after midnight, following AKT's rejection of the mediator's proposal citing inadequate wage increases, Ilta-Sanomat reports.

The strike is set to affect some 9,000 workers and will significantly impact Finland's foreign trade and transport services.

Ilkka-Pohjalainen also covered the story, adding that the Finnish Port Operators Association warned that the strikes, if prolonged, could even lead to factory closures.

Speaking to Iltalehti, director of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Ilkka Oksala, said that the effects of the strikes would be felt very quickly by consumers, starting with products with a short shelf life, such as fruit and veggies.

"A few days are still manageable. From then on, the problems will start to show and there will be big repercussions."

HS: First-timers favour Finns Party

The opposition Finns Party was overwhelmingly the most popular among first-time voters in Helsingin Sanomat's (HS) poll of such voters.

Around 28 percent of respondents eligible to vote for the first time in this spring's parliamentary elections said they would cast their ballot for the Finns Party.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democrats came in second, at 13 percent, while Environment and Climate Change Minister Maria Ohisalo's Green party came third, with 11 percent support, among the young voters.

Generally, voter sentiment polls that take into account all age demographics show much lower support for the Finns Party (19 percent), HS explained. There are also much smaller differences between the top three parties when all age groups are taken into consideration.

Researcher at the University of Tampere, Aino Tiihonen, explained that while the wide margin seen in the first-time voter poll may seem striking, she would not draw any long-term conclusions based on those findings.

Tiihonen, who specialises in trends among young voters, added that 18 to 22-year-olds are still at a stage when their values and attitudes are still being formed, and new ways of thinking are adopted easily.

Former auditor's appeal under review

On Wednesday, the Helsinki Administrative Court is to review the case of former Director and Auditor General at the National Audit Office (VTV), Tytti Yli-Viikari, Tampere-based paper Aamulehti reports.

VTV dismissed Yli-Viikari from her role as Director General last year, following an expenses scandal which suggested that she had spent about 5,000 euros of public money on hairdressing and beauty services, as well as separate questions over her use of Finnair Plus flight points.

Yi-Viikari has appealed the verdict, with part of the reasoning holding that the publicity of the scandal affected both firing decisions.

Parliament unanimously decided to dismiss Yli-Viikari from her role as Auditor General in June 2021. The decision marked the first time parliament had dismissed such a high-ranking civil servant.

In January, Helsinki District Court found Yli-Viikari guilty of misconduct and malfeasance in a public office. She was ordered to pay 80 income-linked day fines.

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