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Thursday's papers: Political shake-up, Trump-Kim meeting place, and bulletproof car found

The papers on Thursday include speculation about a shake-up in Finnish politics, a possible high level summit in Helsinki, and a mystery resolved.

Hjallis Harkimo
Hjallis HarkimoHjallis Harkimo Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

All the papers were abuzz on Thursday morning with rumours of a 'new political movement' which may or may not be founded in the coming days and weeks by TV presenter and centre-right National Coalition Party MP Harry 'Hjallis' Harkimo and former SDP party secretary and current PR man Mikael Jungner.

Helsingin Sanomat reports that Jungner is keen to 'give a new impetus' to interaction around decision-making, citing the recent failure of a working group set up to try and trim Finland's multi-billion euro bill for subsidising businesses. Ilta-Sanomat says Harkimo denies plans to establish a new party, but refuses to rule out a 'new political movement'.

Both papers say the new movement would be 'market liberal' in political orientation and HS says the speculation is the subject of 'deep concern' among senior figures in the NCP.

In the background is the government's troubled plan to reform social and health care, which Harkimo has criticised in stridently-worded statements. The government's slim majority means new parliamentary grouping opposed to the reform would make it more difficult to pass the reform in the legislature.

There need only be a few rebels for the reform to cause big problems, as the government controls just 105 seats in the 200-member chamber. Helsinki NCP MP Wille Rydman signed up to a critical motion on the reform passed by Helsinki City Council, while his party colleague Elina Lepomäki has already announced her opposition to the reform.

Trump-Kim in Helsinki?

IS picks up on a Bloomberg story suggesting nine possible meeting places for Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after Trump said that five unspecified locations are under consideration for the unprecedented summit.

One of the locations suggested by Bloomberg is of course Helsinki, which served as a Cold War meeting place for leaders from east and west and recently hosted exploratory talks between US and North Korean delegations.

The summit is reportedly planned to take place in early June.

Lost Mercedes found

Earlier this week we touched on an expensive armoured car purchased by parliament in 2005, which wasn't actually all that much use. The 550,000 euro car's doors were so heavy they were difficult to open from the inside if the vehicle stopped on even a slight incline, and the running costs were astronomical.

After it was little -used, the IS story said the car was passed to transport police in Helsinki, but after that unit was disbanded the car fell off the radar. Until Thursday, that is, when IS located the lost Mercedes in a police garage.

Officers tell the paper that it is still in service and was actually used last week, although they don't specify when, why or who it was carrying.

Artice edited at 4:40 pm, removed reference to North Korean Foreign Minister to reflect a correction mdade by Bloomberg.

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