Thursday's papers: EU migrant policy, dog lover’s shame, and corona stockpiling

Finland joined EU condemnation of Turkey’s actions on the Greek and Bulgarian borders.

One kennel club judge was convicted of neglecting her dogs. Image: Anne-Pauliina Rytkönen / Yle

Finland’s Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo was in Brussels on Wednesday for a meeting that decided on concrete action to respond to Turkey’s decision to scrap an agreement designed to limit migrant flows into Europe.

As a result of Turkey’s actions thousands of people have arrived on the borders with Greece and Bulgaria hoping to claim asylum in the EU.

Turkey hopes to pressure EU states to back its policies in Syria, where it is supporting rebels in Idlib province against Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian government forces.

There are more than 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, and the EU had previously agreed to pay to help support them in return for Turkey trying to stop their onward irregular migration to Europe.

Helsingin Sanomat reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that on Wednesday Ohisalo said that the consensus at the special meeting of interior ministers was that this pressure cannot be allowed to succeed.

"We reject attempts by Turkey to use people as political pawns," said Ohisalo after the meeting. "There was a collective will to say it out loud and send a really strong message to Turkey."

The EU has already promised Greece 700 million euros to help with managing asylum seeker flows.

Finland is sending around 100 tents to Greece, and has 30 border guards on standby ready to assist the EU’s border guard agency Frontex.

HS also called round the different parliamentary groups, finding that the Finns Party and the National Coalition were most supportive of the Greek government’s decision to suspend registration of new asylum claims for one month during the crisis.

The SDP, Green Party and Centre were less positive about the move.

Kennel club conviction

Iltalehti reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on a shocking case from North Savo, where a woman was convicted of neglecting her 46 dogs and banned from keeping animals for four years.

She had judged dog shows for the Finnish Kennel Club, but the court ruled that her interest in canines had not prevented her from neglecting her own.

The judge found that the dogs had not had sufficient food, water and care. A vet called to the property said that only 27 percent of the dogs had been of normal weight, with the rest thin and under-nourished.

After the inspection 12 dogs had to be put down and the remaining 34 were cared for elsewhere.

The court ruled that the woman did not deliberately neglect the dogs, but because she had so many of them she was unable to adequately care for them.

The Kennel Club expelled the woman and banned her from serving as a judge.

More than 200 coronavirus tests so far

Aamulehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) and other media report that up to Wednesday, more than 200 people had been tested for novel coronavirus in Finland with seven confirmed cases revealed.

HS reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that anyone can be tested if they meet the criteria for testing set by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Those criteria are that a patient has acute respiratory infection symptoms such as a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing, and that the person has travelled to mainland China, Iran or Italy in the 14 days before they fell sick, or that they have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case.

Other coronavirus stories include an Ilta-Sanomat visit (siirryt toiseen palveluun) to the home of a food blogger who has been stockpiling in anticipation of the spread of the virus.

Jenni Häyrinen says she has a 14-day food haul that cost her 550 euros in total. She reckons she is set for any possible quarantine, but other exceptional circumstances might cause problems.

There has been a flurry of similar stories in Finnish media advising people what they need to have on hand to deal with any disruption in supplies.

Helsingin Sanomat asked (siirryt toiseen palveluun) experts what people should have lying around to last 72 hours, for instance, with urban Finns regarded as in need of more advice here than those living in the countryside.

That 72-hour period is based on the '72 hours' website (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on domestic preparedness from the National Rescue Association, which advises on things people might not realise they even need in an emergency.

Batteries, an FM radio and a supply of clean water should all be on hand in case of emergency, according to the website.