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Thursday's papers: Violence towards men, asylum debate and floods on the rise

Female-perpetrated violence in the home, party leaders talk asylum, and Tampere braces for more floods in the future.

Hämeenlinnassa tulvi elokuun alussa
Image: Yle

Daily newspaper Keskisuomalainen reports that should men face violence it is most likely to happen at home. According to a survey by Miessakit, a support group for men, in three-quarters of the cases where a man was a victim of physical violence, the perpetrator was a family member.

Of the 133 men taking part in the Miessakit survey, a majority were physically abused by their spouses and some had experienced violence as children at the hands of their parents. Several had been randomly attacked by strangers, Keskisuomalainen says.

However, men tend to consider emotional abuse more harmful than physical violence, the paper says. In a relationship, men can be belittled, denigrated or falsely accused in matters related to fatherhood, for example.

Political volleys over asylum

Political debate is heating up ahead of next April's general elections, with Oulu-based regional daily Kaleva reporting that none of Finland’s three largest political parties outright reject the idea of sharing government responsibility with the Finns Party after the election. However, the party leaders--the Social Democrats’ Antti Rinne, Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition Party, and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of the Centre--said that reconciling their values with those of the Finns Party would make any coalition government difficult.

Finns Party chair Jussi Halla-aho meanwhile derided Prime Minister Juha Sipilä for his decision to invite asylum seekers to live in his home.

Speaking at an election debate organised by Alma Media for party leaders on Wednesday, Halla-aho said Sipilä’s offer had exacerbated Finland’s asylum seeker crisis.

“The fact that people will walk through a continent to submit their asylum application in Finland shows that Finland appeals to asylum seekers in an unhealthy way, and PM Sipilä has a crucial role in making the situation worse,” Halla-aho said.

Living with flooding

Officials in Tampere are bracing for the increased risk of flooding in the city in the future, reports regional daily Aamulehti. Scientists predict Finland will see more rain in the future. By 2040 precipitation levels could rise by 30 percent.

Combined with the higher rate of urbanisation, the runoff of rainwater and melting snow is likely to create problems in most Finnish cities, the paper says. Inadequate sewer systems and old building techniques are to blame, according to the city's water management engineer Maria Åkerman.

“In principal, it is impossible to fix the problem by building more sewers. There is not enough space for them below the city streets and they would be extremely expensive,” Åkerman says.

A street needs to have a slight incline so that the water flows away from the buildings, Aamulehti explains, and because of the absence of inclines, the old areas of the city are challenging for the water management authorities.

“We’ve always had water in Finland, but the planning for surface runoff has been on the agenda for about 10 years,” Åkerman says.

The most effective way to prepare for increased runoff is to pay attention to the risks in zoning and planning.

”Almost all new zoning plans now include a scheme for runoff water,” Åkerman adds.

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