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€100m regional stimulus package aims at more "digital, sustainable society"

Money will be handed out for projects aimed at overhauling the business sector, including tourism.

En kvinna säljer kaffe i ett fönster.
The package is aimed at overhauling business structures. Takeaway sales through a window from Turku's Café Art last April. Image: Arash Matin/Yle

Finland's centre-left government says it will grant more than 100 million euros to stimulate the pandemic-hit economy in various regions of the country.

"The aim is to reform the economic structure so that it relies on competence and innovation and has an international orientation. These recovery measures will promote digitalisation and support the creation of a sustainable and carbon-neutral society," the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment said on Thursday.

The ministry says it has worked with regional council leaders from around the country to come up with regional recovery plans through at least 2021.

The cabinet promises funding for projects aimed at areas such as research and development, job creation and combating youth unemployment and mismatches in the labour market.

Funds earmarked for northern tourism, closure-hit Jämsä

Nearly 28 million euros will go to Finland’s 19 regional councils, including the autonomous maritime province of Åland. Of this sum, 17 million will be earmarked for carrying out regional recovery plans. Money will also be available for projects to reinvigorate and sustain the tourist industry, especially in northern Finland.

A special 4.5.million-euro fund will be set up to help the Jämsä region of central Finland deal with the fallout of the closure of the Kaipola paper mill. Earlier this autumn, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) drew criticism from some business groups for her comments about the mill closure.

Most of the funds will come from unused and unallocated EU and State funding from projects of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

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