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Monday's papers: Monday blues, Finnish link in major sexual assault case and Puhos' uncertain future

Finns' stressful lives, #metoo and a Finnish-born fashion mogul and an uncertain future for Finland's most foreign mall.

Peter Nygård
Peter Nygård was born in Helsinki. Image: Jaakko Avikainen / Lehtikuva

National daily Helsingin Sanomat starts the week off by telling readers their lives have become more boring, increasingly burdensome and busier in the past two decades.

The share of residents who find their lives interesting has meanwhile shrunk by ten percentage points in the past 15 years, according to a Statistics Finland leisure time study comparing the lives of residents in 2002 and 2017.

The hectic pace of daily life is also affecting young people, according to the study, which found that nearly half of students over the age of 14 describe their daily lives as 'demanding.'

#Metoo and a Finnish-born millionaire

Finnish-Canadian multimillionaire Peter Nygård has been making headlines in Finland over sexual misconduct allegations involving Finnish female celebrities.

This past weekend, the New York Times ran an article delving into a US federal lawsuit saying the fashion executive sexually exploited teenage girls as young as 14.

HS spoke to Finnish violinist Linda Lampenius who was embroiled in a two-year defamation suit with Nygård after making comments in the late 90s about not wanting to "see any more Finnish girls at Nygård’s parties".

Lampenius told HS that she eventually could not afford to continue the legal battle and was forced to make a public apology by taking out a full-page newspaper ad.

The Nygård case is the latest sexual misconduct dispute to emerge in Finland in the aftermath of #metoo which has included rape allegations against theatre luminary Veijo Baltzar and accusations of degrading behaviour targeted at women by film director Aku Louhimies.

Frustrated business owners

East Helsinki’s Puhos shopping centre faces an uncertain future, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet. The centre houses many immigrant-run restaurants grocery stores and a Muslim prayer room, but the city council is keen to tear it down and replace it with lucrative housing blocks.

The 1960s-built mall’s lease with the city expires at the end of this year and vendors said they’re frustrated with the ambiguity that has been hanging over the complex for the past three years.

The city would like to tear down Puhos and replace it with housing, according to HBL, which said city councillors have linked the mall to social problems and drugs.

The daily reported that a National Coalition Party council member has called the security situation at Puhos “very difficult”. In 2018 the Neo-Nazi Soldiers of Odin marched through Puhos amidst a police presence.

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