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Monday’s papers: X Factor, Åland football...and serious news too

The week kicks off in the Finnish newspapers with a mix of weekend entertainment, weather and weightier issue such as the fate of rejected asylum seekers and minors under pressure for sex. 

Saara Aalto esiintyi X-Factor Live -finaaleissa 22. lokakuuta.
Saara Aalto's appropriately over-the-top take on Björk won the judges over. Image: Syco / Thames / Dymond / AOP

Aamulehti from Tampere reports on the growing number of rejected asylum seekers staying in Finland illegally, noting that they are ultimately the responsibility of local councils.

Undocumented migrants’ last line of support is income support granted by municipalities. Local authorities are worried as the central government has not provided any national guidelines on providing such support. In any case administration of basic income support is being shifted away from local councils to the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) as of the beginning of next year.

“By law anyone who is in an emergency situation must be provided with crisis help, but how long should it last and what should it include? This is a completely new issue,” says Outi Kääriäinen, social and healthcare director of the northern city of Kemi. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has promised to issue some guidance within the next few weeks.

On a lighter – and higher-octave – note, Aamulehti, like most other papers, covers the continuing success of seasoned Finnish pop singer Saara Aalto in the Saturday-night "Divas Week" episode of the British TV talent competition X Factor. Aalto was chosen to advance to the Week 4 Live Show of the contest out of 10 competitors with her explosive interpretation of "It’s Oh So Quiet". Originally a German song from 1948, it was first recorded in English by Betty Hutton in 1955 – before being revived four decades later by Icelandic artist Björk. The show was watched by some seven million TV viewers in the UK.

Kaleva: Underage sex, snow on the way

The Oulu daily Kaleva also carries similar stories on rejected asylum seekers and the X Factor, as well as a report on concerns at Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland, over what it sees as a growing trend toward casual prostitution among Finnish youth.

The agency says it has heard increasing numbers of reports of girls and boys being offered various kinds of rewards in return for sexual services. For instance, they may be offered cinema or concert tickets or mobile phone credit for sex with adults or other minors. The Federation says that it has heard from children as young as 13 who have admitted to consenting to sex in exchange for such benefits. Such contacts and offers increasingly occur online, but also in public places.

Kaleva also has a peek at this week's changing weather picture, with precipitation expected throughout the country. The Finnish Meteorological Institute says that the Oulu region will likely receive snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday a larger area of precipitation should sweep over Finland, but it remains to be seen what form it will take in various parts of the country.

Metro: "Bitter" silver and Pokémon prize

All of Monday's papers also report on the surprise winners of the Finnish men's football Veikkausliiga, IFK Mariehamn from the tiny autonomous island province of Åland. Most front pages focus on the jubilation of the 29,000 Ålanders on their side's first-ever Finnish Championship. However the capital-region commuter freesheet Metro carries a large front-page photo of crestfallen players and fans of the Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK) with the headline "Bitter conclusion". HJK had to make do with second place this year – after winning the Finnish Championship 27 times.

Also on Metro's front page: ex-Policeman Sting's return to rock, an outdoorsy award for Pokémon GO, and a reminder that the approaching snow means it's time for motorists to switch to winter tyres.

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