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Friday's papers: Lindén's loose ends, export capacity and a Finn at the NBA All-Star weekend

The newspapers on Friday look at the fallout from a mysterious death of a Finn in Uganda, an export boom, and the excitement of a Finn joining the NBA All-Star weekend.

Suvi Linden
Suvi Lindén Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Friday's papers predictably focus on the ongoing mystery around a Finnish man who was found dead in a Ugandan hotel room after apparently travelling there to market Finnish defence firm Patria's products. The role of National Coalition Party politician Suvi Lindén is under the spotlight.

Lindén travelled to Uganda with the deceased, and Ilta-Sanomat's print edition reports that she has a number of business interests since she left parliament in 2011. She has also claimed between 5,000 and 6,000 euros every month since leaving parliament as part of the generous system of 'parachute pensions' available to ex-legislators until they retire.

IS also focuses on Lindén's claim to have been in Uganda as a special ambassador for the UN's Broadband Commission for Digital Development. That's not true, according to the commission official interviewed by IS: she wasn't there on commission business and she holds no official role--only a largely honorific 'advocate' title that confers no rights to represent the commission.

Export industries heating up

Business daily Kauppalehti carries a report on small and medium enterprises struggling to keep up with demand from abroad. The paper says that industrial capacity has fallen by about a fifth since the financial crash in 2008, and now that times are good companies are struggling to pick up the slack.

KL asks one Kauhava-based business which says they're having to select customers carefully, as they can't meet demand from everyone that wants to place an order. The company, Finn-Power, is part of the Italian Prima Power group and will move its Finnish operations to bigger premises this year.

Last year Finland exported some 85 billion euros worth of goods and services, according to KL. That's still short of the peak in 2008, when Nokia was still going strong and the effects of the financial crash had not yet been fully felt.

Markkanen hits the mark

Finland's favourite basketball star, Lauri Markkanen, has had a great first season in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. The 20-year-old is averaging 15.3 points a game and impressing everyone with his versatility and three-point shooting.

Helsingin Sanomat's often breathless coverage of the Finn's progress continues on Friday with a look ahead at the A--Star weekend, at which Markkanen will play in the Rising Stars Challenge--a scrimmage for new NBA arrivals pitting US players against those hailing from outside the country.

Markkanen tells HS he's going there to win, which is perhaps not the spirit in which the weekend is usually joined. The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, reports on the matchup between Markkanen and his Chicago team-mate Kris Dunn, who will line up on the opposite side of the Rising Stars Challenge match.

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