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Tuesday's papers: Far-right ban, Vantaa's Italian waste imports, and another taste of winter

One supermarket chain has taken a stand on a small far-right party's attempts to enter parliament.

Hinausauto vetämässä rekkaa Murhasaaren liittymän jyrkässä mäessä.
A heavily snow-covered road in Murhasaari, Tampere. Image: Matias Väänänen / Yle
Yle News

Campaigning is in full swing in Finland's parliamentary election, and this time round there are some extremist groupings trying to get elected.

Helsingin Sanomat reports on Tuesday that one of them, the far-right Blue-and-Black Movement, has been banned from Kesko outlets across the country. The paper asked Kesko after it was informed of the ban by Kupitaa Citymarket in Turku.

The retail giant says it tries to treat all parties equally when they're out campaigning, but it has guidance on corporate responsibility, respecting diversity and advancing equality.

"On that basis we have made a decision that we cannot give permission for the Blue-and-Black Movement to campaign, as their goals are at odds with the previously-mentioned guidance," said Laura Rissanen, Kesko's regional manager.

"The party has announced that among other goals it is aiming to achieve an ethnically homogenous Finland and the party describes itself as a "white racial identity" movement."

The Blue-and-Black Movement was formed by individuals expelled from the Finns Party, and describes itself as a "radical and ethnofuturist" organisation. Its colours are taken from the Lapua Movement of the 1930s, a fascist formation that attempted a coup d'état in 1932.

Vantaa imports garbage from Italy

The energy crunch this winter saw many organisations scrambling to replace fuel they had previously sourced from Russia, before Moscow's attempt at subjugating and occupying Ukraine forced an end to most trade between Finland and its eastern neighbour.

That meant supplies of wood and other biomass to burn in district heating plants ran short, and many companies began to burn household waste instead.

Those incinerators that had always burned waste, like Vantaa's, suddenly found supplies were short and they needed to look further afield. Ilta-Sanomat reports that in Vantaa's case, that meant importing waste all the way from Italy.

Vantaan Energia's Kalle Patomeri told Ilta-Sanomat that the other options were unpalatable.

"The alternative would have been burning fossil fuels, such as coal, peat or oil," said Patomeri.

This year Vantaa is purchasing some hundred thousand tonnes of Italian rubbish, and will continue the orders for some years to come — although the amount will change depending on the market situation.

Snowy start to the week

This week southern Finland has had a cruel reminder that winter lasts a long time at these latitudes.

Monday saw a hefty dump of snow across the region, handily timed to follow the introduction of summer time. That is set to continue on Tuesday.

Aamulehti reported on a road traffic accident in Pirkkala on Tuesday morning, and warned people in the Tampere region that driving conditions were set to deteriorate over the course of the day.

The worst of the weather is set to blow into the east and the north, according to Maaseudun Tulevaisuus. But with the weather in Finland, it is wise to expect the unexpected.

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