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Monday’s papers: Sustainable Finland, Airiston Helmi’s mystery man and equality in sports

The new government agenda calls for 'sustainability', the man behind Airiston Helmi talks and why girls drop out of sports.

Nainen nostaa painoa.
Image: Yle

Helsingin Sanomat’s political analyst Marko Junkkari says Finland will see more left-leaning policies over the next four years, even though two of the parties in the new government are on the right. The incoming government will put an end to eight years of austerity, adding 1.2 billion euros to government’s spending bill.

The new government agenda crafted under the leadership of Social Democratic Party chair Antti Rinne calls for a “socially, economically and environmentally sustainable Finland,” according to an agenda draft obtained by HS.

The new government will formally unveil its programme and ministers on Monday at 10.30am at Helsinki’s central library Oodi.

Airiston Helmi's mystery man speaks out

Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet digs into Russian millionaire Pavel Melnikov’s interview with HS. Last autumn police stormed Melnikov’s 17 properties in the Turku archipelago in a raid and ensuing investigation that came to be known as Airiston Helmi - the name of Melnikov's real estate firm.

HBL said the public relations offensive by the Russian millionaire did little to shed light on the source of his fortune. Melnikov told HS he was "fond of islands" and reiterated that he was not an operative for the Russian state.

Police said that the raid on the island municipality of Pargas in southwest Finland last September uncovered approximately three million euros in cash as well as 210 terabytes of data stored on devices seized during the operation.

The firm at the centre of the investigation is believed to have laundered millions of euros and suspected of having used off-the-books labour to construct the properties in the archipelago.

Uneven playing fields

Over a third of high school girls attending athletics-focused high schools abandon plans of professional sports careers before they graduate, compared to 15 percent of boys, reports HS, citing a new study by Jyväskylä University.

Professional sports opportunities are far more limited for women than men in Finland, with few women able to support themselves in the field, the study found. Many girls begin to drop out of sports after reaching puberty, according to the study.

Research from Jyväskylä University last year found that physical education in Finnish schools perpetuates gender stereotypes and risks preventing youth from reaching their full potential.

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