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Friday's papers: Finns found dead in Spain, high school to be compulsory, farms going bankrupt

Two Finnish people were found dead in Mijas, a minister criticises school plans and more farms are going under.

Traktori maatilalla
Finnish farms are in trouble. Image: Pasi Takkunen/Yle

Several domestic dailies on Friday reported on a grisly find in the Spanish city of Mijas on the Costa del Sol. Locals discovered the dead bodies of a Finnish man and woman in an apartment, Spanish sources said.

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat quote Spanish papers, which indicated that neighbours contacted police over a bad smell emanating from the apartment in the Las Lagunas area. Emergency services found the bodies of a 26-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man on arrival.

One local paper wrote that a preliminary medical examiner's report suggested drugs may be involved in the deaths. Blood was also found in the apartment hallway, IS reported.

The relationship between the two deceased people and the Spanish apartment's Finnish owner is not yet clear.

IS said that autopsies will be performed on the bodies on Friday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told IS early on Friday that they had not yet received word of the deaths.

Minister: "Fund education, not free books"

The next government, still forming under the leadership of Social Democrat chair Antti Rinne, vowed on Thursday that compulsory schooling in future would extend from primary education (grades 1-9) through to upper secondary education or vocational school. MPs from the National Coalition Party (NCP), which appears to be heading to the opposition opposed the plan, with caretaker Education Minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen tweeting her criticism of the proposal, according to Tampere-based daily Aamulehti.

"It would be more effective to increase support and strengthen daycare and primary education. Fix the foundation first! Fund education, not free books," Grahn-Laasonen tweeted.

The minister was referring to the required reading and studying materials for upper secondary education, which are known to be costly for students and their families. Rinne's SDP, the Left Alliance and the Greens all campaigned on a platform of making upper secondary education free, including text books and other learning materials, the paper noted.

Another NCP MP, Timo Heinonen took to Twitter to say that extending compulsory basic education to around the age of 20 "would not be easy".

AL noted that the outgoing government headed by Juha Sipilä slashed Finland's education budget by some 690 million euros, nixing about 250 million from upper secondary education.

Struggling farms going under

Iltalehti reported Friday that many Finnish farms are declaring bankruptcy, according to regional paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, as dairy entrepreneurs who invested in their farms in previous years when the price of milk was high are now facing dire straits and having to shutter their gates, in turn pushing cattle-breeders to the brink of their financial resources.

Agriculture expert Osmo Autio from financial firm Wikli Group told IL that he has had to file about one bankruptcy notice per week for failing farms – and that the worst may be to come.

"Our company's backlog is about 12-13 cases long at the moment, all of them going under. Bankruptcy will be declared by the taxman, creditors or the entrepreneurs themselves," Autio said.

Autio emphasised that the farms facing closure are not small or badly run businesses; some of the dairy farms seeking financial guidance produce an average yield of more than 10,000 kg of milk products a year.

IL also wrote that fur farms are in for grim prospects in the future as well, as fur operations are often a side business for farmers.

Yle News has reported on the woes of farmers for many years. The price paid to Finnish farmers for raw milk fell by 12.5 percent in 2015, a dip caused in part by Russian sanctions on EU products and a fall in consumer spending power.

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