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Friday's papers: Green support plummets, climate protest and Finnkino refuses cash

Domestic media outlets explore Green disillusionment, activists blocking roads and a cinema's snack and cash ban.

Elokapina mielenosoitus Helsngin Mannerheimintiellä 17.6.2021
Climate protesters began blocking traffic on Helsinki's main thoroughfare, Mannerheiminite, on Thursday afternoon. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

While the Greens remain the second largest party in Finland's capital, the local election saw the party lose three council seats.

"The Greens experienced a defeat in the municipal elections in Helsinki that could be called a collapse," Helsingin Sanomat writes.

In 2017 Helsinki's Vallila district saw 37 percent of the votes turn green, however in 2021, the Greens managed to earn 25.7 percent of the vote in this area—a significant drop from the previous election. In Sunday's vote, the Left Alliance snagged the top spot in the area with 27.7 percent of the vote.

Some residents in Vallila argue that the Greens have been too sympathetic to the centre-right National Coalition Party (NCP). Vallila resident Petri Kuokka told HS that he and other residents in the area have been frustrated with ongoing construction works compromising the area's greenery and cultural spaces. HS suggests that the Helsinki council's decision to cut the 264-euro Helsinki supplement to the child homecare allowance also pushed voters to the left. The Greens were in favour of cutting the benefit while the Left Alliance opposed the move.

Extinction Rebellion occupy Mannerheimintie

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that on Friday morning some 120 protesters from Extinction Rebellion Finland (Elokapina) were still blocking traffic from both directions on Helsinki's main thoroughfare Mannerheimintie.

The environmental group is calling for the government to declare a climate and environmental emergency and for Finland to achieve its carbon neutrality targets ten years earlier, in 2025 instead of 2035, as outlined by Prime Minister Sanna Marin's government.

The group set up their demonstration on Thursday afternoon, commencing a week of civil disobedience.

Finnkino refuses cash

Iltalehti says that Tampere parents have taken their frustration to Facebook, complaining that their children have been unable to buy Finnkino's movie snacks because staff refused to accept cash.

Finland's largest cinema chain, Finnkino, on Tuesday banned movie-goers from eating their own snacks during screenings.

The company is currently not accepting cash for payments, exacerbating the inconvenience brought about by the ban. Hannele Wolf-Mannila, Finnkino's Commercial Director, said the cash ban due to the current pandemic situation.

"We have asked children to call their parents, and the parents have then paid for the purchases with Mobilepay. We have always found a solution," Wolf-Mannila told IL.

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