Monday's papers: Finland's Russian relations, working from a holiday destination and hobby funding

A major data leak revealing hidden wealth and tax avoidance continues to dominate Finnish media on Monday, but there was some other news, too.

Spain's Costa del Sol has a large Finnish community, mostly of retirees. Image: Niko Mannonen / Yle

President Sauli Niinistö has said there are many "worrisome developments" in relation to Russia, reports business magazine Talouselämä (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Speaking to a gathering at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), the president indicated that Finland needs to keep an eye on whether the door to Finland's Nato membership remains open, according to TE.

"The relationship between the European Union and Russia has effectively withered away. The search for partnership has been replaced with growing suspicion and mutual recrimination. We have genuine differences—that should not be denied. For example, we will not accept the illegal annexation of Crimea, nor will we condone the continued recourse to a set of destabilising activities on the part of Russia," Niinistö said in his address.

Work from paradise?

Finnish companies are gearing up for a return to the office, but Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun)'s most-read story on Monday may indicate that many people don’t only want to continue working from home, but also want be location independent.

The HS story profiles a four-person Finnish family living on Spain's Costa del Sol, where the father of the family does his engineering job remotely while the mother pursues online studies.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions told HS that they have been fielding many calls lately from people inquiring about how to maintain their pension and social security benefits when working abroad.

Finland's official remote work recommendations end in mid-October.

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Hobbies for everyone?

This autumn Finland is rolling out free children's hobbies in most municipalities in an effort to give every school kid the opportunity to try an activity.

But according to Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun), many municipalities have received less state funding for organising extracurriculars than they had hoped for. Porvoo had applied for 300,000 euros to provide for kids' hobbies, but received a third of that sum—100,000 euros.

Municipalities in Finland's most populous Uusimaa region received an average of 3.14 euros per pupil this school year, whereas residents in Ostrobothnia are getting more than twice that sum on average: 8.37 euros.

Officials told HBL that rural communities may need grants to cover taxi transport to activities, which can contribute to the allowance difference—but grants were also awarded based on the quality of applications, HBL said.