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Friday's papers: Tinfoil hats, income tax cut, 'regular mum' makes strongman record attempt

MPs lamented the spread of conspiracy theories as they debated Covid passports, reports Hufvudstadsbladet.

Sanna Marin, Annika Saarikko ja Anna-Maja Henriksson saapuu hallituksen infoon Kesärannassa.
PM Sanna Marin told Ilta-Sanomat she was "open minded" about cutting income tax. Image: Benjamin Suomela / Yle

Friday's Hufvudstadsbladet reports on Thursday night's parliamentary debate which saw sparks fly as MPs argued over the government's plans to introduce so-called Covid passports.

The documents would allow people who have been vaccinated against, or recovered from, the virus to enter places like restaurants or bars without restrictions.

According to Swedish-language HBL, the Finns Party accused the government of forcing people to take the Covid vaccine, with new leader Riikka Purra saying that the alternative of taking regular tests for the virus was prohibitively expensive.

In response, HBL writes, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said that Covid passports are only meant to be used if the pandemic worsens once again.

"The virus is unpredictable, and the authorities may be forced to impose restrictions under the law on infectious diseases," she told MPs.

Culture and science minister Antti Kurvinen (Cen) expressed concern that many people in Finland were trusting "tinfoil hat theorists" on the internet, rather than the science behind vaccines.

According to HBL, this prompted MP Leena Meri (Finns) to ask Kurvinen if he was "calling people with medical conditions who are afraid to take the vaccine 'tinfoil hats'".

Kurvinen responded that he was not, HBL reports.

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No pushback from PM on income tax cut

An interview with PM Sanna Marin in Friday's Ilta-Sanomat yielded the revelation that she is "open minded" to Finance Minister Annika Saarikko's (Cen) announcement that she intends to seek a cut to income tax next year.

"We have just gone through a budget negotiation. No such proposal came from the finance minister during those negotiations," Marin told IS.

"Of course, the Minister of Finance will make her own proposal in next year's budget session and we will discuss it on that basis. I am open-minded. I have discussed this subject with Minister Saariko in the past," she said.

Story continues after photo.

Valtiovarainministeri Annika Saarikko Keskuskauppakamarin Suuren Veropäivän avauksessa.
The finance minister said Finland may not need to wait for a change of government before seeing an income tax cut. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Saarikko's comments earlier this week followed a Finland Central Chamber of Commerce event where a proposal was put forward to cut income tax by two percent across the board during the term of the next government.

Marin's response comes after the prime minister (along with her mildly controversial backpack, IS writes) sat down with Ilta-Sanomat to discuss the gradual return to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.

The PM also told the paper that she had recently taken up running in order to help ward off the fatigue of handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten-tonne record attempt

West coast local paper Satakunnan Kansa reports on a world record attempt taking place on Friday in Pori.

"Regular mum" Pirita Ruusulaakso, will attempt to pull 10 classic Fiat 500 cars weighing 10,000kg as far as she can, the paper writes.

Fitness instructor Ruusulaakso told the paper she wasn't certain she could pull off the feat.

"It takes a lot of strength in your legs, core and arms. It's also hard on the spine, so I wouldn't recommend trying this," she said.

According to the paper, Ruusulaakso feels the stunt is a way to blow off steam after the experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

"People have been through so much crap, they're tired. This is something nice and different to make up for it," she told the paper.

Ruusulaakso will attempt to pull the train of retro vehicles at Pori's Puuvila shopping centre at 5pm on Friday.

Don't forget to listen to this week's All Points North podcast, where Egan and Zena discuss the obstacles some of Finland's foreign residents face when trying to open a bank account.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify or Apple Podcasts or on your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

Audio: Yle News

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