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Tuesday's papers: Ghost boss gets paid, Katainen doesn't, and a long wait for police in Lapland

Tuesday's newspapers all have more fallout from the Thomas Cook collapse, along with news of executive pay and a look at how long you'll wait if you call the police.

Poliisi poliisiautossa.
This is a rare sight in parts of Finland. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

All the papers follow up on Monday's big news about Thomas Cook declaring bankruptcy, with news from worried travelers and a look at the company's economics.

The announcement late on Monday that the Finnish subsidiary would restart operations on Tuesday somewhat changed the tone of the coverage, however.

Business daily Kauppalehti takes a typically longer-term view in its editorial, arguing that "the internet did not kill travel agencies" and that Finnish tour firms are still profitable.

Party poll

Helsingin Sanomat publishes a party poll on Tuesday, showing little change in the numbers after the Centre Party elected Katri Kulmuni as leader.

The Finns Party remains the leading party in the HS poll, and all changes were well within the margin of error.

Ghost boss loses 600k

Several outlets pick up an STT story this morning about a 'ghost boss' at oil and engineering company Neste, who picked up his salary for six years after leaving the company.

The man had served as head of Neste's Estonian operations and then led its Saint Petersburg branch, but left the firm in 2012.

Nobody told Neste's automatic salary payment system, which transferred his pay each month as usual, even though he was no longer actually working for the firm.

The man argued that Helsinki District Court had no jurisdiction in the case as he lived in Estonia and Estonian law should apply. If it did, argued his lawyers, the 600,000 debt would have already expired.

The court disagreed, ruled in favour of Neste and ordered the seizure of assets to the value of 600,000 euros.

The man now serves on the board of Enterprise Estonia, whose website says it is "one of the largest institutions within the national support system for entrepreneurship by providing financial assistance, counselling, cooperation opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, research institutions, the public and non-profit sectors".

Katainen gifts golden handshake

Iltalehti's print edition splashes on EU Commissioner Jyrki Katainen’s 240,000 euro separation payment as he leaves to take up a job leading Finland's state-owned innovation fund, Sitra.

IL reports that Katainen's pay as Sitra boss is to be 18,533 euros per month, so he is unlikely to be caught short as he adjusts to life away from Brussels.

The EU makes 'transition payments' to departing commissioners for three years, with IL calculating that Katainen's dividends will come to just under 81,000 euros per year.

He's in no need of the money and told IL that he is not planning to hang on to it.

"The payments are made regardless of whether or not a person finds work," Katainen told the paper. "Member states decide the size of commissioners' transition payments. I'm considering different options, for example starting a foundation. Among others Erkki Liikanen and Jan Vapaavuori have given away their transition payments."

Police waiting times

Numbers of police officers have been cut in recent years, and the incoming government has set a target of a total of 7,500 officers nationwide by 2022.

The worry is, of course, that if you call the police you might have to wait a long time to get an answer, and on Tuesday Helsingin Sanomat sets out to define just how long that wait might be.

They gathered data on police callouts in the first half of the year, which were split into three categories: A, B and C.

Category A calls should be handled immediately without delay. B-category calls should be handled as soon as possible but they can wait until a patrol is available. Calls in the C category are the least urgent tasks including transfer of prisoners and general patrol tasks.

In Enontekiö, in the far north of Finland, those reporting a crime could face a three-hour delay before the boys and girls in blue turn up.

There's been a local improvement recently, as a part-time police officer now works in the municipality of Muonio. That's still 200 km from Kilpisjärvi, however, which is still in the same municipality.

Even in southern Finland there are some places where it could take half an hour for the police to arrive.

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