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Monday's papers: Finnish border concerns, nasty tax surprises and snow on the way

Helsingin Sanomat explores the possibility of Russia weaponising migrants against the EU via Finland.

Two border guards standing in front of the Russia Finland border fence.
Finland puts its new eastern border fence into service this autumn. Image: Mikko Savolainen / Yle
Yle News

Could Russia use migrants on Finland's borders to destabilise the EU?

The head of the EU's new border agency, Frontex, told Helsingin Sanomat that the bloc needs to be prepared for Russia bringing people to its borders — that is, using migrants to advance its own geopolitical interests.

HS explains that were Russia to suddenly bring large numbers of people to the Finnish border, Finland could receive border control assistance from Frontex.

According to Frontex's Director General Hans Leijtens, the European Union must be prepared for the possibility that Russia will use migration in the future to advance its own geopolitical interests.

"It is a way to pressure the bloc as well as European solidarity," Leijtens told the paper.

"We are aware of the threat," he said, adding that Frontex is capable of deploying forces to the EU's external borders within days. He believes that when it comes to Finland, logistics pose the greatest challenge.

"Finland is a big country. [Transporting Frontex officials to Finland] requires planning. Can Finland accommodate large numbers of people?" he asked.

Tax shock

The tax office is advising taxpayers to check that their tax card is up to date to avoid nasty surprises down the road.

Iltalehti reports the Finnish Tax Administration saying that nearly one million—965,000 taxpayers — are likely paying too little tax, meaning that the income limit set on their tax card is too low.

This means that their income will be taxed at a higher additional percentage rather than the basic tax rate.

"If the income limit risks being exceeded, it's best to apply for a new tax card. Getting a new tax card now means the impact on December's salary won't be as significant," Päivi Ylitalo of the Tax Administration said in an agency release.

Let it snow

Southern Finland could see a sudden snow storm this week, according to Hufvudstadsbladet, which said a howler is approaching from St Petersburg.

In southern Finland, temperatures will drop into subzero territory between Monday and Tuesday night, according to HBL, citing the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

After a warm autumn, it is now noticeably colder than the average. Towards the end of the week, easterly winds are expected to pick up, creating a greater risk of large amounts of rain or snow, according to the FMI, which said a sudden snow dump could take traffic by surprise.

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