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Tuesday's papers: Incoming MP speaks, football fans head to Russia, stormy weather

Who's filling the space left in Parliament by Helsinki's new mayor and how hard is it to get to a football match in Russia?

Pietarin stadion, etualalla mellakkapoliiseja
There are plenty of hoops for Finland's football fans to jump through if they want to watch Wednesday's match in St Petersburg in person. Image: Grigori Vorobjov / Yle

With the National Coalition Party's Juhana Vartiainen looking set to take the Helsinki mayoralty after the party's victory in the local elections on Sunday, tabloid Iltalehti speaks to the man who will replace him as an MP.

In an interview with Iltalehti, Atte Kaleva set out his position on asylum and immigration to Finland, saying the topics would be his priority in Parliament.

The switch is indicative of the NCP's two sides: Vartiainen is a liberal who used to be in the SDP, while Kaleva has made immigration and in particular criticism of Islam his main themes.

"We would create a new avenue for those who want to come to Finland and build their lives here. If it is found that a person does not want to integrate, they could easily be sent out of the country," he told the paper.

In 2012 Kaleva and his wife travelled to Yemen against the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and were subsequently kidnapped. The New York Times reported that millions of dollars were paid to the kidnappers in ransoms.

Kaleva also addressed a controversial social media video published earlier this year, in which he expressed a "dream of a Helsinki without communists".

According to Iltalehti, the fallout over the video indirectly led to former NCP mayoral candidate Kirsi Piha pulling out of the race in May. Piha had come under fire online after criticising the video.

"I don't think anyone would think that a 15-second video would make someone drop out of the mayoral race. Nowadays on social media, things are escalating and inappropriate language is being used, and unfortunately this happens to all politicians," Kaleva said.

Football fans head to Russia

As the Huuhkajat prepare for their next Euro 2020 game against Russia, Tampere-based Aamulehti joined a busload of fans on the way to St Petersburg.

Getting into Russia to watch the game isn't a straightforward process, Aamulehti reports. Visitors to the country must show proof of a negative Covid test and give three samples – one from each nostril and one from the throat – at the border, the paper writes.

Football fans have one more hoop to jump through: the so-called FAN-ID needed to enter both the Russian Federation and the stadium itself.

"I cannot blame the Russian authorities. They have their own instructions on how to play," one Finland supporter who was refused entry told Aamulehti.

"It was not clear enough that you need a fan card to cross the Russian border," he said, telling the paper that he was "frankly quite annoyed" at the advice provided by Finnish fan association SMJK.

Two fans who attended Finland's game against Denmark on Saturday, during which Danish player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed, told Aamulehti about the atmosphere there.

"I can't be happy with the victory. Thankfully Eriksen is alive, that's great," said one Finland fan who was at the game in Copenhagen.

"After the match I felt pretty down, and I didn't celebrate it in the same way," another told Aamulehti.

Storm warning

National daily Helsingin Sanomat carries a warning about Tuesday's weather, as Storm Vieno hits Finland.

According to HS, the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a warning for strong to very strong winds for the whole of Finland on Tuesday.

Meteorologist Ville Siiskonen told HS that gusts of up to 20 metres per second were expected in central Finland later on Tuesday. The winds would be strongest on the west coast on Tuesday morning, he said.

The storm has already caused travel disruption in Satakunta and Pirkanmaa, HS reports, with train cancellations between Tampere and Nokia, and at least one cancelled train from Pori to Tampere.

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