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Friday's papers: Graduate brain drain, Estonia reduces alcohol tax, fatal police car crash, and a disgruntled bar customer

Why Finland is losing graduates, alcohol prices drop in Estonia, serious car crash near Jämsä, and an angry bar customer

Juomakärryä vedetään satamassa.
Reductions in alcohol tax in Estonia are likely to cause an increase in the number of Finnish alco-tourists. Image: Yle

A feature article in the Kuopio-based daily Savon Sanomat reports that only a third of foreign graduates remain in Finland three years after graduating, with the Finnish language cited as a significant contributing factor in why graduates do not stay.

According to the article, 40 percent of Master's graduates remain in Finland three years after obtaining their qualification, while only 31 percent of graduates from Polytechnic Universities choose to stay.

The paper quotes Tapio Varmola, of the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, as he calls for decisive government action to keep foreign graduates in Finland.

"This is a big deal. Despite all the talk, Finland has not done much to promote labour-related immigration," the paper reports Varmola as saying.

Estonia cuts alcohol tax

Tabloid daily Ilta Sanomat reports that the Estonian parliament's decision to reduce tax on alcohol is likely to lead to a reversal of the recent trend of Finns travelling to Latvia for their alcohol needs, and make a return to the traditional Tallinn route. Since Estonia joined the EU in 2000, Finns have been making the ferry trip across the Baltic Sea en masse to the avail of cheaper alcohol prices.

However, recent tax increases and price hikes in Estonia have led to many Finns taking their custom elsewhere - to Valka in Latvia. The move by the Estonian parliament to reduce alcohol taxes is widely regarded as an attempt to win back their previously-loyal Finnish customers.

The change in excise duty comes into effect from the beginning of July, and only applies to spirits, beer, cider and long drinks. The taxation of wines and sparkling wines will not change, according to the tabloid.

Fatal police car crash

Many papers carry the story of a two-car collision near the city of Jämsä in Central Finland involving a civilian vehicle and a police car. According to a report in the tabloid Iltalehti, the accident occurred when the civilian car veered onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of the oncoming police vehicle.

The driver of the civilian car was killed in the accident. The passenger in the civilian car, as well as the two police officers were also seriously injured. All were taken to Tampere University Hospital.

Customer drives through bar window

In Turku, Turun Sanomat reports on a local man who took considerable exception to being fined by the police after he failed to pay a taxi fare. The retirement-aged man arrived at his regular bar by taxi, but failed to pay the fare. The taxi driver called the police, and they issued a fine to the man. He was also asked to leave the premises.

The man returned some time later with his own car, and drove through the front window of the bar on the city's Humalistonkatu. Fortunately no-one was injured in the incident.

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