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Monday's papers: Breathalysers at work, fatal bus crash and wasteful Finns

Alcohol breathalysers are becoming common at work, witnesses say the fatal bus crash driver was reckless, and Finns think they waste less than they actually do.

poliisilla alkometri kädessä
Police breathalyser tests aim to catch drunk drivers, but bosses are also increasingly making employees take the alcohol detection. Image: Mikael Kokkola / Yle

Helsingin Sanomat’s main story today considers workplace breathalyser testing. A growing number of Finns start their workday with a test to deem whether or not they are fit to be on the job.

Surprise breathalyser tests are cropping up across sectors—from white-collar offices to heavy industry work sites, such as the Fennovoima nuclear power construction yard in Pyhäjoki featured in the story.

Driving under the influence?

While not explicitly connecting any dots between drunk driving and the fatal bus crash in eastern Finland last Friday, Helsingin Sanomat goes on to write that passengers aboard to the bus that crashed in eastern Finland say the driver was reckless, tailgating other vehicles and swerving from side to side on the road prior to the fatal crash.

A man on board the bus told the national daily that fellow passengers had asked the driver to slow down prior to the accident which claimed four lives after plunging off an overpass and landing on a train track below the roadway.

The driver has retracted his story about the brakes being faulty after the Safety Investigation Authority said it detected no malfunction with the brakes.

Higher income taxes?

The decision whether or not to raise personal income taxes will be a sticking point as negotiations for next year’s budget kick off this week, writes business daily Kauppalehti. Parties within the government have yet to reach an understanding on the extent to which taxes should be cut for Juha Sipilä's government to keep its promise of tax breaks for low and middle income earners.

Centre MP Antti Kaikkonen, who chairs the Centre party's parliamentary group, said the time is not right for tax breaks and that the state should be paying off debt and doing more to support those in the lowest income bracket in society. Meanwhile Finance Minister Petteri Orpo has called for relieving the income tax load by some 300 million euros to offset higher social insurance fees connected to the government’s labour law reform known as the ‘competitiveness pact’.

The government hopes to have a final version of the draft proposal for the coming year ready by 17 September.

Finns 'deluded' about waste

Finns delude themselves into believing they waste less than they actually do, finds an international study cited in Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Finnish residents’ perception of the food they waste was 5 percent when the actual figure was 11 percent. In terms of clothing, Finns say they don't use around a third of the clothes in their closets when the actual figure is closer to two-thirds.

The study by moving firm Movinga looked at the gap between perception and reality when it comes to wastage of food and hoarding. Researchers conducted the study in 20 developed countries worldwide by interviewing some 18,000 households. Placing ninth, Finland ranked in the middle, with Russians deluding themselves the least about their consumption habits and the Swiss being the most wasteful and deluded about their levels of waste.

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