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Tuesday's papers: Bumper tax data special and racist abuse goes global

Tuesday's press was dominated by the release on Monday of 2014 tax data. The income and taxes paid by everyone in Finland was made public, and the Finnish media made the most of the information as usual.

Daily newspapers.
Image: E.D.Hawkins / Yle

Both tabloids lead with the story of Kimmo Riihimäki, a roofing contractor from Hämeenlinna who made nearly 25 million euros in capital income last year. That income came when he sold his firm, Hämeen Laaturemontti Oy, to private investors.

The print version of Ilta-Sanomat has a picture of Riihimäki with the van in which he started his business, a Toyota Hiace, while Iltalehti has also been to visit the man with the most heartwarming enrichment story this year.

His hefty income is likely a one-time thing, and he is after all only the third on the list of the biggest incomes in 2014. Iltalehti publishes a special supplement including some interesting stories along with a lot of context-free numbers, and IS also has several pages of news from the tax office.

Portugal pensioners

Iltalehti leads with the story of sauna stove heiress Sari Harvia-Jyllinmaa, who received some 14 million euros in capital income last year. She explains the story of the Harvia family business (her Dad was in the war, often got quite cold, loved saunas and then figured out a way to design them better), says she wants lighter inheritance taxes, but adds that she won't move to Portugal.

That's been a big issue recently. A number of wealthy Finnish pensioners have taken advantage of Portugal's tax laws which mean that new arrivals receive their pensions tax-free for ten years. That's been controversial in Finland, where paying tax is traditionally seen as a badge of honour, but it has added to an ongoing debate about taxes here.

Ilta-Sanomat follows up, looking at several of the Portugal emigrés' tax returns for 2014. For example the former Kesko boss Matti Halmeskivi made just under 1,7 million euros last year, paying some 824,000 euros in tax. Ex-Rautaruukki CEO Sakari Tamminen made 1.3 million euros, paying some 644,000 euros in tax.

The woman who started the public debate on Portugal's rules, Onvest owner Maarit Toivanen-Koivisto, made some 3.3 million euros and paid 1.2 million euros in tax. She had said that she was planning to move to the other side of Europe to escape Finland's laws on inheritance and gift tax.

IS also emphasised the popularity of its service: By 10pm on Monday more than one million searches had been made on its online tax data portal.

Racist abuse in foreign press

The Daily Mail picked up a video that first went viral and was then reported in the Finnish tabloids. It depicts a horrific racist tirade directed at a Kenyan nurse in Espoo.

A Finnish woman first tries to run over the Kenyan woman, then gets out of her car and launches her abusive rant.

'I am a Finnish woman,' she starts. 'You are a f***ing African woman. You are zero, you are not human in my eyes.'

The whole video can be watched here.

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