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Friday's papers: Diminishing draft returns, Terveystalo jackpot and criminal's unlucky namesake

Friday's papers include stories on a drop in military service, large profits for Terveystalo owners and a Finn's stint in a Bulgarian jail.

Puolustusvoimien Lippujuhla vuonna 2011
Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus asks whether young men have gotten soft as more and more are being exempted from military service for health reasons.

The paper reports that the number of men excused from the obligatory draft at the age of 18 has risen to 17 percent in 2016 from 8 percent in 2005. The largest increase has occurred among those released due to mental or behavioural problems, which last year accounted for 44 percent of all exemptions.

Apparently the healthiest young men are found in south-east Finland, where four-fifths of those called up complete military service. On the other hand, 28 percent of draftees in North Savo are discharged – the area with most exemptions.

Terveystalo profits

Kauppalehti reports that the owners of healthcare services provider Terveystalo, whose shares will be floated on the Helsinki stock exchange in October, are expected to profit handsomely.

The offering values the company at 1.25 billion euros, with private equity investor EQT to receive around 581 million euros from the sales of its shares. Laura Räty, a former vice mayor of Helsinki  who is now Terveystalo's Chief Operations Officer, will net about 200,000 euros.

Interpol warrant

Helsingin Sanomat tells a disconcerting story of a Finnish citizen who ended up in prison in Bulgaria and was threatened with deportation to Togo because he carries the same name and date of birth as a wanted criminal in the African country.

Abdoulaye Kone, who was holidaying in Varna with his wife and four children in July, was arrested at the airport as he was leaving Bulgaria and jailed for 40 days. Kone was released after he was able to prove that at the time of the alleged financial crimes in Togo he was visiting a doctor with his pregnant wife in Finland.

Kone, a native of Ivory Coast, says he has requested through the Finnish police that Interpol lift the warrant for his namesake. Until then Kone says he will remain in Finland.

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