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Monday's papers: Nato next steps, votes from Sweden, and exaggerated egg prices

The airport mark-up of a Finnish Easter delicacy was almost double compared to retail prices.

Yhdysvaltojen presidentti Joe Biden seisoo kädet ristissä presidentti Sauli Niinistön vieressä. Bidenilla on päällään puku ja päässään pilottilasit. Suomen tasavallan presidentti Sauli Niinistö pitää puhetta.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, left, standing with US President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House. File photo. Image: Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
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Finland's bid to join Nato is entering its final stages, with Hungary's parliament set to ratify the Finnish application on Monday and Turkey likely to also vote by the end of the week.

Helsingin Sanomat writes that after parliamentary ratification in Budapest and Ankara, the next steps will solidify Finland as a full-fledged member of the defence alliance.

For Finland's accession to enter those final stages, Turkey and Hungary will have to physically send their letters formally accepting Finland to the US State Department in Washington, DC — which serves as the depositary of Nato's backbone Washington Treaty.

Once the acceptance letters from all 30 member states are in Washington, Nato's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sends an invitation letter to Finland.

Upon receiving the document, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Green) signs the accession letter. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö's signing of legislation last week set the path for Finland to formally approve the document when it arrives in Finland.

Once the document is signed, it will be transported to Washington, as it is the depositary for the original 1947 treaty upon which Nato has been formed. Once the document is in the custody of the US State Department, Finland will be a Nato member state.

A possible ripple is that Finland will be approved for Nato membership ahead of Sweden, meaning that Helsinki will also need to ratify Sweden's accession into the defence alliance.

Yle News' weekly podcast All Points North hears from foreign policy specialist Minna Ålander as Finland moves ever closer to Nato membership.

Finland's formula for happiness

Voting from abroad ends

Tabloid Iltalehti covered the buzz of the Finnish election in Stockholm, where there are over 100,000 eligible voters for the Finnish parliamentary election.

International voting ended on Saturday and over 10,000 votes were cast.

Kirsi Olakivi-Miftari — Consul at the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm — told IL that there are now also voters who have recently regained their citizenship and are now able to vote in the elections. Dual citizenship was introduced in Finland in 2003 and before that, acquiring Swedish citizenship meant automatically losing Finnish citizenship.

One such voter is Nils Stenbacka, who regained Finnish citizenship two years ago.

"I lost my citizenship in 1959, 64 years ago. I was born in Finland and my family moved to Sweden when I was one and a half years old," said Stenbacka.

This is the first Finnish election Stenbacka will be able to vote in. Among the election issues, he is particularly interested in security.

Many first-time voters said they were concerned about how the Finnish system works, as in Sweden voters primarily vote for a party rather than an individual candidate.

Yle News' really simple election guide and video offers a more in-depth explanation on the Finnish parliamentary system. To become more familiar with the parties, candidates and issues this election, check out Yle News' Election Compass.

Aggrandised eggs

Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet exposed a case of price gouging with a Finnish Easter delicacy.

Fazer's Mignon Eggs have been enjoyed in Finland since 1896. The seasonal confectioneries are composed of real eggshells filled with chocolate and almond nougat.

HBL wrote that the four duty-free shops at the Helsinki Airport sell a four-pack of the chocolate eggs for 13.95 euros, whereas outside of security at the airport's Alepa, they retail for 7.79 euros.

Dutyfree Finland's managing director Sini Syväjärvi said that parent company Dufry strives to have competitive prices in its stores, but that it can be difficult when it comes to sourcing some local products.

"Dufry purchases most products globally, in order to unify the purchase volumes. But for some local seasonal products, the volumes are still small, which affects the purchase prices. We also want to offer these local products in our range, because customers ask for them," Syväjärvi told HBL.

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