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Thursday's papers: Fireworks ban, ski lift sabotage and most desirable employers

A citizens' initiative to outlaw fireworks, ski resort vandalism and the companies young professionals in Finland aspire to work for.

Image: AOP

More than 21,000 people have signed a citizens’ initiative to ban fireworks, writes daily Aamulehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun). The campaign to limit the use of pyrotechnics to certified professionals was launched by 14 health, disability and animal rights groups at the beginning of December.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the cases of injuries and damage caused by fireworks, Aamulehti reports.

According to Hannu Halila from the Finnish Medical Association, despite years of education on how fireworks should be used, they cause between 10 and 20 eye injuries every year. "About a third of people hurt are children or adolescents," Halila said.

In addition, fireworks increase air pollution, damage the environment and cause high levels of stress and anxiety in animals, Aamulehti writes. The ban would not affect all fireworks however. For example, sparklers would still be available for the public to use, the paper says.

The initiative must gather at least 50,000 signatures by the start of June next year to be eligible for Parliamentary consideration.

Ski lift vandals

A lift at a Turku ski resort was sabotaged just ahead of a scheduled seasonal start, daily Turun Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) writes. Vandals appeared to have dug up a safety cable from under the snow and cut it, likely hoping to postpone the season launch at the Hirvensalo Ski Center set for 28 December, TS reports.

The saboteurs must have known what they were doing, said Jari Lehtinen from Tusla, the association that manages the resort. "They knew where to dig and that there was no risk of getting an electric shock," Lehtinen added. "This is not something little boys would come up with."

According to TS, the damage was discovered on Sunday when artificial snow was spread on the ski runs and the lifts were turned on. However, there is still time to fix the cable before the season opening, the paper adds. "Changing the cable is no big deal. Fortunately we noticed the damage early enough," Lehtinen remarked.

He said he remains baffled about the vandals' motives. "We haven’t received any complaints for a long time. Our neighbours used to complain about the noise of the snow-making equipment but even that was years ago," Lehtinen noted.

Tusla will file a police report about the sabotage after Christmas, TS said.

Most-wanted employers

Meanwhile, tabloid Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reports that IT firm Reaktor and tech giant Google are the most desirable companies to work for among young professionals in Finland. The finding comes from a survey by recruitment group Academic Work of more than 1,000 university-educated people.

Engineering group Kone, game company Supercell and fashion designer Marimekko also featured among the most attractive employers. "We are pleased that of the top 10 companies six are based in Finland," said Stefan Heinrichs, Managing Director of Academic Work.

Other companies that made it into the Young Professional Attraction Index included multinational professional services groups PwC and KPMG as well as industrial equipment maker ABB, IL reports.

Only 16 percent of survey participants said that the company’s brand and reputation were the most important factor when choosing an employer. "Instead, one of the factors respondents valued very highly was the opportunity to continue learning," Heinrichs noted.