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Tuesday's papers: Choosing gov't "friends", cyberbullying, Estonian speeders, summer heat

Finland's press discuss Tuesday's expected coalition partner decision, parents in the dark about online harassment, traffic fines and weather forecasts.

Ihmiset viettävät kuumaa kesäpäivää Eiranrannassa Helsingissä 30. heinäkuuta.
Will this summer be even hotter than last summer in Finland? Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Helsingin Sanomat, the country's most widely-read newspaper, carries a story on how the parties chosen by Finland's next likely prime minister, Social Democratic Party chair Antti Rinne on Tuesday will have long-ranging consequences for the country's future in terms of its system of social benefits, response to climate change and taxation. Rinne earlier committed himself to reaching a final decision on the parties he will invite to Helsinki's House of the Estates for government formation talks by Tuesday evening.

The paper writes that "today is an exciting day in politics" because the decision the SDP leader makes about what parties to choose will have "almost as much influence as the election results", as even some parties that did not do as well in the elections might be chosen to participate in the negotiations. It says that the elections were so close and the field of political parties in Finland preceding the parliamentary elections was so fragmented that "power is only now being meted out in earnest".

Rinne said in a Saturday interview in the paper that he was looking for an "suitable friend" from among the parties that had earned the next-best election results: the populist Finns Party, the centre-right National Coalition Party and the Centre Party.

Shining a light on internet recesses

The Joensuu-based paper Karjalainen features an STT story on cyberbullying, reporting on a recent study that discovered that only one in five parents in Finland knew if their children had been subject to online harassment and only one in four has done anything to prevent their children from being the target of cyberbullying.

Teachers were found to be much better aware of cyberbullying than parents, with one in three having observed the phenomenon in their work. Both the 1,000-some parents and the over 400 teachers responding to the study's survey said they wished there were more digital tools available to safeguard and promote empathy online.

Insurance company If's country director Timo Harju tells the paper that adult figures in children's lives cannot rely on apps to solve the problem, saying that families should do everything in their power to "keep the lines of communication open" and talk about the subject.

Tracking down lead-foots

The paper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat also reports this Tuesday that police in Finland are planning to start sending notices to Estonian drivers that have been caught speeding by traffic cameras in the country. Law enforcement says the crackdown will begin with Estonian residents because the clear majority of traffic violations by foreigners have been traced to vehicles registered in Estonia.

The news agency Uutissuomalainen says offenders can expect their first notices in early June. The notice advises the receivers to pick up a ticket stating their fine at the police station in Helsinki's Malmi district. Finnish police cannot send the actual ticket to Estonia, as criminal penalties cannot be sent abroad.

"The notice will have a deadline and if the recipient doesn't respond by that time, we can put out a search notice for the individual," Dennis Pasterstein, chief inspector and head of Helsinki Police Department's traffic safety unit, tells the paper.

Another scorcher in store?

And finally, the tabloid Iltalehti has the first of the inevitable summer weather forecasts that start popping up at this time of the year in Finland. The tabloid reports a prediction from the Weather Company that says that Europe is in for a hotter summer this year than normal.

Foreca meteorologist Joanna Rinne says it is too early to say with any certainty how things will play out, but unseasonably warm temperatures in the south could indicate hotter summer temps are on the way, as southern and central parts of Europe are already heating up. She says Spain could even see the 40 degrees Celsius mark be broken this summer.

Rinne predicts more high-pressure fronts over northern parts of Europe in the coming months, meaning clear skies. Last summer Finland had 63 days with temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius, the second-warmest summer in Finnish history. The warmest temperature of the season was recorded in the west coast city of Vaasa on 18 July, when the mercury rose to 33.7 degrees.

The tabloid writes that a Nature Communications study from last August found that extremely high temperatures will be twice as likely in Finland and the rest of the Europe for the next five years due to climate change and a rise in surface temperatures of the planet.

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