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Tuesday’s papers: Minimum wage, southern Finland's non-winter and gorging on ice cream

Finland worries about an EU-wide minimum wage, more mild weather and a hotel hits a sweet spot with ice cream lovers.

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Finns scarf down an average 12 litres of ice cream every year. Image: Comstock

Finland is not keen on EU plans to introduce a minimum wage across the bloc. The EU Commission launches its minimum wage proposal for consultation on Tuesday.

Neither the blue-collar union umbrella group SAK nor Finland’s largest employers’ association, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), warmed to the idea, telling Helsingin Sanomat it would undermine the country's system of collective bargaining between trade unions and employers.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the move aims to help workers lacking union support.

"We have to think about the people who don’t enjoy the protection of collective agreements," she said.

Several EU states have minimum wage laws, whereas Finland doesn't have a nationally-appointed minimum wage. Instead, the country has practiced collective bargaining since the 1970s, whereby employers and trade unions regularly negotiate wage agreements on the national and industry-specific level.

For a deeper dive into the inner workings of the Finnish labour market, check out our latest podcast which aims to demystify some of the practices associated with collective bargaining in Finland.

You can listen to our weekly All Points North podcast about Finland's collective bargaining system via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, iTunes or your normal pod player using the RSS feed.

Audio: Yle News

No skiing, no sledding

Hufvudstadsbladet says there’s no real winter in sight for southern Finland. The Swedish-language daily reports that long-term forecasts predict mild and wet weather will continue through February and March.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) said it expects February temperatures to be 2-3 degrees Celsius above long-term averages.

"There’s always some uncertainty when it comes to long-term prognoses, but the European models are usually the most reliable. An American weather model suggested even higher average temperatures in February—four degrees above average in the south and two to three up north," Mika Rantanen from the Finnish Meteorological Institute told HBL.

A room with a…freezer

Each year, the average person in Finland eats over 12 litres of ice cream.

Inspired by Finns’ love affair with the stuff, HBL reports that a Helsinki hotel’s idea to stock one room's freezer with 12 litres of the milky treat was a roaring success.

The all-you-can eat 'sweet suite' sold out in hours, according to downtown hotel Klaus K.

The hotel told HBL that most guests left an empty freezer at check-out time.

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