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Thursday's papers: Nato support, Pori Jazz firing and pet leave

Today's papers look at growing support for Nato, the firing of a festival boss before he started his job and "peternity" leave for animal shop staff.

Pelokas kissanpentu.
Image: Anna Ronkainen / Yle

Online paper Uusi Suomi reports that support for Nato among Finns has risen slightly, with 20 percent now backing Finland’s membership in the military alliance.

Compared with the previous survey in February, support for Nato membership increased by three percentage points in May. At the same time, the share of Finns with a negative view of the organisation fell from 55 to 50 percent.

Support for joining Nato is greatest among men, those between 60-69 years of age and those with household incomes of more than 80,000 euros per year. On the political spectrum, the voters of the centre-right National Coalition Party are most likely to back Nato, while close to 80 percent of the Left Alliance voters oppose alignment with the US-led organisation.

While a fifth of Finns now throw their support behind Nato, 40 percent would be willing to endorse a membership if Finland’s president recommended it.

For the poll, 1,500 people were surveyed on behalf of Uusi Suomi and tabloid Iltalehti.

Hired and fired

Like most media outlets today, Helsingin Sanomat covers the firing of Aki Ruotsala, the newly-appointed CEO of Pori Jazz festival, who infuriated many on Wednesday by saying homosexuality could be 'cured'.

HS reports that the board of Pori Jazz 66 ry decided to withdraw Ruotsala’s appointment following his statements that contradict the values of the music festival. The chairman of the board Hannu Jaakkola said “these values are common to all members of the board and staff” and extended his apology to all who had been offended by the issue.

Ruotsala, a Christian Democrat politician, was appointed to head the annual festival only at the start of this week. In an interview with Pori-based newspaper Satakunnan Kansa on Wednesday, Ruotsala reiterated his previous views that homosexuality can be cured.

“We cannot ban anyone from having certain opinions, but we can consider what kind of people we employ,” Jaakkola said. “We cannot approve of any kind of discrimination coming from a person who has a highly visible position at the organisation,” he added.

Ruotsala was scheduled to start at the new job in August.

Pet leave for staff

Meanwhile, Joensuu-based daily Karjalainen reports that pet shop chain Musti ja Mirri will offer its employees three paid days off when they take a new puppy or kitten.

“To us, pets are number one in everything and that’s why pet leave is a natural next step in developing our business,” said Juhana Lamberg from Musti Group. “Getting a pet is a big life change, and we want to support our employees in enjoying the first moments with a new family member,” he added.

The staff at the Swedish company is expected to be knowledgeable about animals and about 90 percent of the 800 employees have at least one pet.

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