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Tuesday's papers: Nato and investment, monkeypox disinfo and back-to-back hockey host Tampere

Morning papers report that international investors may see Finland as a higher risk country until Nato membership is finalised.

The Finnish Lions on the ice at Tampere's Nokia Arena, one site of the 2022 and likely 2023 IIHF Hockey Men’s World Championship. Image: Tomi Hänninen

Jyväskylä's Keskisuomalainen is among the papers that carries a syndicated article (siirryt toiseen palveluun) in which several economic analysts say that investors likely see Finland as a slightly higher risk country during the ongoing Nato membership process.

According to these experts, perceived risks are related to concerns about various kinds of harassment Russia may carry out.

"There is some uncertainty in the market during the process. This poses a risk that some investors may, for example, postpone their investment decision in Finland until Finland's Nato membership has been ratified," said Nordea Bank's chief analyst Jan von Gerich.

Martin Paasi of the financial services company Nordnet described the situation as "a pebble in the shoe until Finland's membership is ratified".

"The threat of harassment by- Russia is causing uncertainty for international investors, but may not be significantly reflected in investor behavior. Uncertainty is increased by the fact that we do not know how long it will take for Finland to become a member of Nato," Paasi continued.

According to Mika Maliranta of Labour Institute for Economic Research Labore the situation is still calm.

"Projects that are not solid may be delayed, but more secure projects will not be affected by the membership process. Investors have not voted to flee Finland," said Maliranta.

Monkeypox mendacity

Most morning papers in Finland report that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no acute need to vaccinate people against monkeypox outside Africa.

Richard Pebody, a senior WHO official, said on Monday that the spread of monkeypox can be curbed through good hygiene and safe sex practices.

In an editorial, the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun)writes that monkeypox is not a coronavirus-like scourge, but does reminds readers that any new infectious disease of animal origin should be taken seriously.

False reports spread in the Russian media last week that monkeypox had already been found in Finland. In those reports, it was compared to the "spread" of Nato toward Russia's borders.

Ilta-Sanomat points out that two years of the coronavirus pandemic has sensitized the media to news of the spread of infectious diseases. However, as this paper puts it, "civilized, media-literate Finns are quite good at recognising lies and disinformation."

"Propagandists, and those who distort medical information should have understood long ago that that hostile communication just will not destabilize Finnish society," writes Ilta-Sanomat.

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Mortality data delays

In late April, Statistics Finland reported that the number of deaths and the general mortality rate in Finland was at its highest level in 2021 for nearly 80 years, with the death toll at its highest since the Second World War.

Iltalehti reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that the number of deaths in January of this year was again at a record high. It notes that the increase has raised concerns and questions. In particular, it has been asked why there are more deaths being recorded.

The paper points out that the coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly one reason for the increase in deaths, but perhaps not the only one.

So far, Statistics Finland's population figures show death rates, but do not yet specify the causes of deaths. Official cause-of-death statistics for 2021 are only due in December this year.

IL writes that there are a number of reasons why it takes so long to log the statistics. One is the high number of autopsies performed in Finland every year. And then, once death certificates are formalised, copies are sent on paper by post to Statistics Finland for processing.

IL presents some ideas on factors contributing to the record high mortality rate. Among them are Finland's ageing population prior to the pandemic and increased isolation brought on by Covid, which may have contributed to suicides and substance abuse-related deaths.

Tampere to host home ice yet again

Tampere-based Aamulehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun)carries the news that the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation has withdrawn its bid to co-host the 2023 IIHF Hockey Men’s World Championship with Slovenia, leaving Riga-Tampere as the remaining bidder.

Originally, the 2023 games were to be played in St. Petersburg, but hosting rights were withdrawn following Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Joint hosting by Riga and Tampere will be a rather special case, writes Aamulehti, in the sense that Tampere is the main venue for this year's championships and the World Championship was played in Riga last year.

Still, it says the situation is not entirely novel, as the 2012 and 2013 championships were both divided between Helsinki and Stockholm.