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Friday's papers: Measles worries, big dividend expectations and an Olympic uniform vote

Friday's papers include a story about the risk of a measles outbreak, expectations of big dividends this spring, and a look at Olympic kits down the years.

Vantaa. 100 päivää olympialaisiin tilaisuus Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasemalla. Kuvassa Minttu Tuominen, Julia Kykkänen, Ristomatti Hakola, Matti Suur-Hamari, Peetu Piiroinen, Joona Kangas.
Image: AOP

Helsingin Sanomat leads on Friday with a look at the measles outbreaks across Europe, and their possible spread to Finland. The paper reports that some 14,000 people have been struck down with measles over the last year, the vast majority in Romania and Italy, as more and more parents decide not to vaccinate their children.

The ongoing measles outbreak in Gothenburg has brought the prospect closer to home for Finns, and HS asks if a similar cluster of cases is possible here. The answer, unfortunately, is yes: anti-vaccination ideas have also spread in Finland and immunisation levels have dropped low enough (below 95 percent) to endanger herd immunity from measles in around a third of Finnish municipalities.

The Europe-wide epidemic has caused a reaction among some Finnish parents, reports HS, as they look to immunise their children early if they are heading abroad. The MMR vaccine is usually not given to children in Finland until they are one year-old.

HS recalls the days when measles was widespread in Finland, with tens of thousands getting sick each year. That stopped in the 1970s when a vaccination programme began.

Investors to enjoy the spring

Kauppalehti takes a look at the prospects of a bumper payday for shareholders this spring, as the Finnish economy continues its rebound. Dividends were paid consistently through the recession, but now there is even more cash to distribute, the paper thinks 2018 could be a record year for dividend payments.

The current record was set in 2007, just before the financial crash, when firms listed on the Helsinki stock exchange paid out some 12.26 billion euros to their owners. Analyst expectation as reported by KL is that dividends could rise by some five percent this year to 12.33 billion euros.

The paper also publishes a list of the biggest dividend payers listed in Helsinki, with investment group Privanet topping the charts.

Sportswear under the microscope

As the Winter Olympics approach attention is turning to medal expectations and chances of success, but also to all the trappings of a modern sporting extravaganza. Finland tends to do much better at the winter games than the summer ones, and the ice hockey tournament is usually a highlight of the sporting year in Finland, so excitement is certainly building here.

HS on Friday takes a look at how Finnish competitors will look in Korea. Not their performance on the ice, slopes or ski tracks, but their kit. The retro look unveiled last year for the official team uniforms had its defenders and detractors, so the paper decided to compare the 2018 outfits with those won by Finnish Olympians in years gone by.

You can take a look, and vote for your favourite, in their online poll.

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