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Friday's papers: Layoff season, archipelago drugs and sewer geysers

Layoff season is around the corner, drug traffickers in the archipelago and a manhole turns into a geyser in Helsinki.

Jalankulkijoita sateenvarjoineen Helsingin keskustassa.
An epic rainstorm drenched commuters on Friday. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Autumn in Finland is the season of union codetermination talks in many workplaces, where management outline their plans for redundancies. With fall approaching, business magazine Talouselämä says there's no reason to panic about the state of the economy just yet as most layoffs are due to organisational restructuring, with a slight uptick in redundancies in the IT and technology sectors.

Elina Pylkkänen of the Labour Institute for Economic Research, a think-tank, told the magazine that recent layoff rounds mostly reflect evolving economic structures and changing consumer habits.

She said unemployment figures are the best indicator of where the economy is headed. Finland's jobless rate stood at 6 percent last month, according to national number cruncher Statistics Finland.

Drug runners in the archipelago

Finland's autonomous Åland Islands have become a transit point for drug smuggling, writes Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet in an interview with border guard investigator Rasmus Friman.

Finland’s coast guard said it suspects that narcotics are increasingly shipped in small vessels, such as yachts. It is next to impossible to monitor all small boat traffic in the Finnish archipelago, according to Friman.

Drug traffickers move narcotics through cargo ships, over land, and by mail. But more sophisticated cartels also have access to yachts, "so they have no reason not to use them," Friman said in the paper.

Sewer eruption

Friday morning's downpour in the capital forced vehicles to drive around a sewer geyser shooting out of the street in front of central library Oodi in downtown Helsinki, reports newsstand tabloid Ilta-Sanomat – whose online article features a video of the dramatic surge.

Monsoon-like conditions on Friday morning kept rescue workers busy as they were called in to prevent water damage at several central locations.

Over the next 24 hours, the rain front is expected to travel north, reaching Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu.

"We're very close to issuing a heavy rain warning, which means 20 millimetres of rain falling within one hour," meteorologist Juha Tuomala of the Finnish Meteorological Institute told IS.

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