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Monday's papers: Bankruptcies, a 'silent killer' and pandemic puppies

Business relief measures run their course, why Finland needs to shake its salt habit and a pandemic puppy craze.

labradorinnoutaja Elmo muutti Vantaalta Itä-Lapin Sallaan
The Labrador Retriever is Finland's favourite dog. Image: Annu Passoja / Yle

Finland could see a wave of bankruptcies this spring, reports Ilta-Sanomat, which notes that some Covid relief measures for businesses are tapering off. The end of January will see a temporary protection end that has limited the ability of creditors to force a business into bankruptcy to recover debt.

SME lobby group The Federation of Finnish Enterprises (Suomen yrittäjät) told the paper its recent survey indicated that as many as 12,000 firms may be going out of business this spring.

Official figures have indicated that bankruptcies last year actually decreased by as much as 17 percent compared to 2019.

"This tells us that companies whose problems aren’t Covid-related have benefited from the temporary change to bankruptcy laws," said attorney Elina Pesonen of law firm Castrén & Snellman.

Hidden salt

In health news, Helsingin Sanomat reports that some two million people in Finland have high blood pressure, putting them at risk for cardiovascular damage.

Fifty-eight percent of men and 48 percent of women over the age of 30 have high blood pressure, according to the latest FinTerveys national health survey.

HS writes that researchers are turning their attention to how high blood pressure can lead to cognitive impairment in people not diagnosed with dementia.

"High blood pressure can affect the brain more than the heart," said Helsinki University epidemiologist Mika Kivimäki.

Finnish men on average consume 16 times more salt than they would require while women take in 12 times more sodium than necessary, according to HS.

Pandemic puppies

Like in many other countries, the coronavirus crisis has led to an increase in people in Finland buying pets, according to Iltalehti.

Last year saw 49,000 new dogs registered, an increase of 8.4 percent over the previous year.

The Finnish Kennel Club says that while it’s yet to tabulate the country’s most popular breeds during the crisis, the Labrador Retriever reigned supreme on the most recent registry list.

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