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Friday's papers: Finns Party candidates clash, fighter jet show, bikini-clad skiing

Friday kicks off with news on ideological clashes between the two frontrunner Finns Party leadership candidates, an Air Force air show in Helsinki's Kaivopuisto and downhill skiing in bikini weather.

Taitolentoryhmä Arctic Eagles
Acrobatic display team Arctic Eagles. Image: Suomen Ilmailumuseo

Major Finnish newspapers continue leading with analysis on the upcoming Finns Party chairmanship election.

The vote is expected to be tight between the two frontrunners, Sampo Terho and Jussi Halla-aho. According to a poll by Helsingin Sanomat charting support across party lines, a majority of Finns across the board back Sampo Terho as the new party leader, while Halla-aho enjoys the support of party members.

The poll reveals a vast divide between the candidates’ supporters. Terho is backed by older, highly educated and wealthy citizens who vote for parties other than the Finns, while Halla-aho is popular among young people, men, students and Finns Party members.

Ilta-Sanomat reports on an election debate hosted by the tabloid, which resulted in heated discussion between Halla-aho and Terho about the EU. Terho is open to a Brexit-style referendum. MEP Halla-aho rejected the idea of a referendum to leave the union and stated that as long as leaving the EU is not a realistic option, Finland should lobby for more anti-federalist policies.

Fighter jets in the sky

The Finnish Air Force will organise an air show in Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto on Friday from 4pm to 9pm. The show is part of Finland’s centenary celebrations, and will feeature aviation history. Most major papers, including Turun Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat, Iltalehti and Helsingin Sanomat write that the event is expected to draw around 100,000 viewers.

The show will fill Helsinki’s skies with the likes of the American Super Hornet, multinational Eurofighter Typhoon and the Swedish Gripen. Highlights include a performance by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. The British Red Arrows are one of the world's premier aerobatic display teams, and will perform at 18.55. Finnair’s new Airbus A350 will also make an appearance along with paragliding performances.

The air show will also serve as a demonstration, as the Finnish Air Force is in the process of choosing a new fighter jet model. Three of the five in consideration will be on display. The purchase is set to be one of the biggest in Finnish history at 7–10 billion euros, and will be finalised in 2021.

Meanwhile, in Finland

Hate the cold but love the adrenaline rush of whizzing down slopes? No problem. The Saariselkä ski centre in Lapland has opened its doors for this weekend only. Ilta-Sanomat and Helsingin Sanomat report that the opening of the summer ski season on Thursday attracted around 300 people.

Thanks to degrees of up to 20 degrees Celsius, skiers stripped down to shorts and bikinis to enjoy the slopes. Skiers were able to experience something truly unique: going downhill in the nightless night with the sun blazing at midnight. The sun will next set in Saariselkä after mid-July. 

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