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Thursday's papers: More Fennovoima delays? Ex-Miss Finland accuses Trump of groping, VR's costly graffiti war

In Thursday's papers, we read that Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn warned there could be further delays at the Fennovoima nuclear plant project. A former Miss Finland has added herself to the list of women accusing US Presidential Republican nominee Donald Trump of sexual harassment. And the national rail company VR now spends half a million euros fighting graffiti every year.

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Image: Yle

The soon-to-be-departing Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn told HBL that it might be difficult for Fennovoima's nuclear power plant project to stay on schedule, saying that required documentation to begin construction has not been delivered on time.

Rehn spoke earlier this month about shortcomings at Fennovoima, saying it was seriously lacking in attention to project management and subcontractor resourcing.

Before construction can begin, the Russian company charged with construction, Rosatom, needs to have available all the documentation required by Finnish authorities - particularly the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).

The missing documents should have been delivered to STUK  at the end of last year and now Fennovoima hopes they'll be ready by the end of this year. Fennovoima reportedly hopes that STUK will be able to deliver its safety assessment of the project by 2018, enabling construction of the reactor to commence following which it should be ready to go online by 2024.

Rehn said he was sceptical that the schedule would hold, adding that he has seen progress but there continue to be problems.

Rehn said that while the country is working towards being carbon neutral and reducing its reliance on coal, Finland needs to use nuclear power during a transition period towards that goal.

Rehn, who was recently appointed to the board of Bank of Finland, told the paper it might be difficult for Finland to meet international climate agreements it has agreed to.

"If reducing our reliance on coal by the year 2030 can't be achieved economically, it is possible that coal [usage] could be eliminated through legislation," Rehn told the paper.

Miss Finland 2006: "Trump grabbed my butt"

The former Miss Finland Ninni Laaksonen says that US Presidential Republican nominee Donald Trump groped her when she was competing in the 2006 Miss Universe contest held in New York City, according to the evening tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

Laaksonen told the paper the incident took place just before an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, with Trump and three other Miss Universe contestants.

"Before the show we [Trump and the other contestants] were photographed outside the building. Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt. I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought, 'what is happening?'" Laaksonen told the paper.

Laaksonen said she and other contestants also attended parties with Trump and his wife Melania.

"Somebody told me there that Trump liked me because I looked like Melania when she was younger," Laaksonen told the paper. "It left me disgusted."

This is the first time Laaksonen has talked publicly about the allegations, Ilta-Sanomat writes, saying she had only spoken up after a call from the paper which had been contacting women known to previously have met the presidential candidate - who has had several allegations of sexual harassment leveled at him recently.

In an apparent attempt to go internationally viral, the paper published a version of the article in English on its website.

Renewed, costly graffiti war on trains, buses

National rail company VR says that vandals are increasingly spray-painting and defacing their trains at a pace reminiscent of a spate of graffiti it experienced in the late 1990s, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

On Wednesday morning VR workers found that a local train in Vantaa was virtually covered in spray paint, so severely that it needed to be taken out of service to be cleaned.

VR's safety manager Pekka Ahola told HS that it spends about 500,000 euros per year on repairing and cleaning the handiwork by graffiti artists and vandals.

"This is just the cleaning bill. It takes money from the customer. We operate on a commercial basis, each incident of [cleaning] graffiti can be seen in ticket prices," Ahola told the paper.

In the 1990s graffiti artists and vandals were seen to be a major problem in the city, prompting a public campaign to put an end to it. Over the course of a decade the city spent more than 20 million euros to address the problem.

But now it appears the problem has returned, and not only on trains. Metropolitan area buses have also become the palettes of tag writers and graffiti sprayers, according to director of traffic Tom Roth of public transport firm Transdev, which operates some 160 buses in the region.

"It happens daily, every day. Yes it's a pain in the ass," Roth told the paper. "On buses the vandalism is usually inside the buses rather than on the outside. Windows get scratched with sharp objects, tags are written on seat backs, rubber parts are torn off and screws are removed."

He said that removing graffiti and reparing vandalised buses is a full-time job.

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