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Monday’s papers: Paris Peace Forum, fast-tracking work-related residence permits and a pricey speeding ticket

A look at President Niinistö's comments at the Paris Peace Forum, fast-tracking work-related residence permits, and updated speeding regulations bite a driver.

Emmanuel Macron ja Sauli Niinistö tervehtivät toisiaan Elysee-palatsin edessä Pariisissa isänpäivänä 11. marraskuuta.
President Sauli Niinistö greets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris Peace Forum. Image: Jacques Demarthon / AFP

Largest circulation daily Helsingin Sanomat covers the inaugural Paris peace conference that brought together world leaders at the Champs-Élysées in the French capital on Sunday, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. The event was held to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

According to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, who attended the event and was interviewed by the paper, peace is Europe's and the world’s number one issue right now.

"I have been worried that Europe is not at the negotiating table where (major world) conflicts are being discussed. We need to be strong to remain at the negotiating table," he said.

Niinistö was one of the more than 70 heads of state in attendance, who included American president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"The atmosphere affected everyone and there was no discord among the Europeans. Even Trump and Putin were polite to one another," Niinistö told reporters. "Perhaps we started to believe that good will triumph, but that’s important, if we are to counter evil,” he added.

In a speech at the Paris event, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned plea for world peace and cooperation 100 years after Germany’s defeat in the First World War. She said "we must not simply stand by and watch" as conflicts continue to unfold around the world.

Speeding up work-related residence permits

Tabloid Iltalehti also leads with coverage of the Paris Peace Conference, before turning to local news. Citing a story from the Uutissuomalainen consortium, Iltalehti reports that work-related residence permits will be processed more quickly in the future -- within a few weeks as processing times in Finland will be reduced considerably. Currently, a work-related residence permit may take up to one year.

"The goal is to reach considerably faster processing times, such as a few weeks, but work is still in progress," Riitta Koponen, Legislative Director of the Ministry of the Interior told Uutissuomalainen.

The aim, according to the ministry, is to achieve the goal by developing new ways of working, automation, and increasing resources.

Just a little over the limit

Helsingin Sanomat’s sister tabloid Ilta-Sanomat covers the issue of speeding. A Kuopio man driving 37 kilometres an hour in a 30-kilometre zone received an expensive traffic ticket after a traffic camera recorded the violation in March. As the area the man was driving through was a construction zone, the speed limit was lower than normal.

Although the driver exceeded speed limit by only seven kilometres per hour, he exceeded the 3- to 6-kilometre per hour range in excess of the limit that would have resulted in only a warning citation from the police. Instead, the man received a fine of 170 euros.

New regulations introduced in autumn 2016 lowered the threshold for law enforcement to issue spot fines for driving seven kilometres or more above the stipulated speed limit.

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