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Wednesday's papers: Finland's Nato bid gains momentum, defiant debates and electric dump trucks

Turkey is expected to ratify Finland's Nato membership soon.

President Sauli Niinistö skakar hand med turkiets president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this past weekend. Image: EPA-EFE/NECATI SAVAS
Yle News

Turkey's foreign affairs committee is scheduled to discuss Finland's Nato membership on Thursday.

That's according to news service STT, a story picked up by many papers, including Maaseudun Tulevaisuus.

Consideration about Finland's Nato membership can possibly be moved to the general session of the parliament as early as Friday or Saturday, Turkish paper Hürriyet reported.

Turkey's parliamentary foreign affairs committee will meet on Thursday afternoon, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey has decided to start the ratification process of Finland's Nato bid. President Sauli Niinistö met Erdogan in Turkey last week.

At the time, Erdogan said he hoped the ratification would take place before Turkey's May elections, scheduled on 14 May.

Meanwhile, Hungary has said the country's parliament will vote on Finland's Nato membership next Monday.

Turkey and Hungary are the two remaining Nato member states yet to ratify Finland and Sweden's membership applications.

Election debate season in full swing

Yle hosted an election debate between the chairs of the three largest parties on Tuesday night, with Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Riikka Purra (Finns) fiercely contesting the issues.

Helsingin Sanomat was among the papers covering the debate, which at one point dealt with the topic of the possibility of immigration being a way to deal with Finland's labour shortage.

The Finns Party's Purra said,that rather than increasing work-based immigration, Finland could solve personnel shortages in the healthcare sector through salary increases, more study positions and aptitude tests.

The Finns Party stance greatly differs from other leading parties, which generally contend that Finland needs more foreign labour because of its ageing and shrinking population.

Earlier on Tuesday, another election debate hosted by Ilta-Sanomat saw Purra and Marin clash over immigration.

Purra said that nurses without language skills are an additional burden and drive nurses out of the field citing nursing unions.

Marin interjected saying that her statement was false.

"This is pure populism! I don't know which nurse you have spoken to, but I have spoken to these organisations," Marin said.

Dumping diesel

A fleet of Finland's largest and heaviest dump trucks are getting electrified, business daily Kauppalehti reported.

The Kevitsa open pit mine near Sodankylä in Lapland is 270 metre-deep. Driving from the mine's edge to the centre is about 2.5 kilometres along a switchbacking road.

In a first for Finland, the mine is planning on electrifying 13 dump trucks in its fleet.

The mine is installing pantographs onto the trucks — the same technology already used in electric trams — and creating electric tracks for the trucks to move up and out of the quarry.

The dump trucks are normally powered by diesel and use 15 litres of fuel per kilometre.

Over the next 10 years, the open-pit mine will become about a half a kilometre deeper due to continued mining.

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