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APN podcast: The unbearable costliness of living (in Finland)

This week's podcast looks at strategies for getting more food for less, and asks why Finns don't want to be 'Finlandised'.

Photo of a bakery shop worker amid pastries and rolls, featuring the All Points North podcast logo. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Is 'Finlandisation' all that bad? Yes, according to most Finns. The period in the Cold War when Finland navigated a geopolitical minefield has been in the news since some world leaders mentioned it as a possible solution to the Ukraine crisis.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Apple Podcasts (siirryt toiseen palveluun) or wherever you get your podcasts.

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But Finnish analysts and politicians have been quick to point out that it originated in West German security policy debates and was seen as a dangerous development. So it was not an ideal solution, so in this week's All Points North podcast we asked Yle reporter and Russia expert Heikki Heiskanen why it's such a sensitive topic.

"So Finland was seen as kind of an example of a country that was nominally capitalistic, democratic country, but actually subordinate to Soviet diktat," said Heiskanen, who takes over as Yle's Moscow correspondent in July.

"From the beginning it was a negative term, and Finns didn't like it then. And now it is seen as a period of humiliation in many circles in Finland, when Finnish politicians curried favour with Soviet overlords in the Soviet Embassy in Tehtaankatu here in Helsinki."

Food cost jumps

Also in the podcast this week we ask why food is getting dearer in Finland, with cucumbers now costing some six euros per kilo.

It's all down to the cost of different inputs in the agricultural production process, including fuel, electricity and fertilisers. But experts say the price rises are less severe in Finland than in some parts of the country.

There are ways to reduce your grocery bill, however, and we cover a few of those in the podcast too.

We also pick out our favourites from the songs in the running to represent Finland in Eurovision and get some advice on how to enjoy a spot of ice swimming.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Zena Iovino with additional reporting by Melanie Hall, our producer was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Juha Hjelm.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.

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