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Friday’s papers: 4-day workweek, rising rates, men & #metoo and soy controversy

Long working hours could become a distant memory, mortgage rates reverse course, the men's rights movement finds an audience, and soy gets a bad rap.

Anonyymejä ihmisiä ostoskeskuksessa.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Finnish labour policy should incorporate four-day working weeks or six-hour days into its toolbox, Left Alliance chair Li Andersson told business magazine Talouselämä, alluding to similar labour party initiatives in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Andersson argued that long working hours don’t necessarily increase productivity and may in fact hamper it. Revving up for next spring's parliamentary elections, she criticised the centre-right government’s 'competitiveness deal' which upped workers’ time on the job by 24 hours a year as outdated and harking back to an earlier industrial age.

Rising rates

Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority has urged mortgage holders to brace for rising interest rates, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Retail bank Nordea said customers may already start feeling the pinch of rising rates next spring ahead of the European Central Bank’s plans to hike rates in the summer of 2019.

The paper notes that banks are now eager to sell customers mortgage protection insurance as risks related to servicing loans rise.

Men & #metoo

Hufvudstadsbladet also reports that a #metoo panel discussion on equality from a male perspective will go ahead next Monday in Turku after previously being cancelled following public outcry.

The organisers said the venue will not be publicly disclosed, due to the controversial nature of the debate, according to Johan Nyman of Åbo Akademi University’s interest group for equality.

”Some people don't want to allow for a discussion on equality from a male perspective,” Nyman told the paper.

The event, originally scheduled to take place at Åbo Akademi University, drew much criticism after it became known that the panel included Swedish activist Alexander Bard, known for being a vehement critic of the #metoo movement. Organisers also planned to screen the 2016 US documentary The Red Pill at the event, a film which explores the men's rights movement.

Soy, oh boy!

Conscripts told agricultural sector paper Maaseudun tulevaisuus that the names of army canteen dishes imply that they contain chicken or beef though they’re actually soy-based. Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö, who previously questioned the rationale of weekly vegetarian dishes for conscripts, has also criticised soy versions of traditional meat dishes.

He claimed soy meals were causing conscripts to fill up on pizza and doughnuts from canteens.

Meal service provider Leijona Catering has denied any false advertising pertaining to its dishes.

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