Finnish politicians rarely make a mark on the international stage, so it's only natural that Helsingin Sanomat celebrates the priase won by Green MEP Heidi Hautala from an NGO that aims to serve as a watchdog for the European Parliament. Votewatch found that Hautala was the 17th most influential MEP in the legislature, beating out rivals from bigger countries and bigger political groupings (the Greens in Strasbourg and Brussels number just 51).
Hautala's influence comes as a result of her active role in drafting statements on a range of issues, and her senior roles on two parliamentary committees: international trade and legal affairs.
Two other Finnish MEPs made the top 70, both from the National Coalition Party and sitting with the EPP group in the European Parliament. Petri Sarvamaa came in at number 36 and Sirpa Pietikäinen, who was regarded as the 62nd most influential MEP at the 751-member legislative body.
The most influential MEPs tended to be from the biggest countries, with the exception of Britain. Since the UK voted to leave the EU, British MEPS lost more influence, according to the Votewatch assessment, than any other national group.
Down on the docks
Finland's economy is picking up, as has been widely reported, and that means exporting industries are doing better than they have for some years. At Helsinki's Vuosaari harbour they now need to hire stevedores, and that has hiring process has been widely reported.
The media's interest is piqued by the relatively large salaries on offer for working on the docks, with 4,000 euros per month or more on offer once salary supplements are taken into consideration.
Taloussanomat says that working on the dockers have long been the elite of working class trades, and now there is a chance for anyone to join in. Little to no schooling is required for a job at the harbour, and recruiters have already received a couple of hundred applications.
The reason for the boom is apparently the new paper pulp plant in Äänekoski, which is exporting forest products worldwide.
Cheerleaders lose their spot
There has been much outrage over the decision, reported in Turun Sanomat, to get rid of cheerleaders at TPS hockey matches. The Turku club made the move after noticing that sales of snacks and refreshments were down because queues were too big during breaks in play.
To solve that problem, the club wants to employ sellers who can ply the stands. There's just one problem: the cheerleaders in ice hockey matches strut their stuff on the stairs, making the hot dog merchants' task that bit harder.
TPS reportedly asked the cheerleaders if they'd be willing to deliver food and beverages to hungry fans, but were given short shrift. That led to club CEO Mika Eskola taking the tough decision to turf them out of the Turku Arena.
"A very stupid decision" moaned gossip mag Seiskä, while other media also questioned the decision. Kauppalehti ran a column in support of the move, however, on the not unreasonable grounds that it is very rare to see sports clubs make decisions based on business sense rather than emotion.