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Tuesday's papers: Nato thanks for Finland, French questions for Nokia and Norwegians in Lapland

Tuesday's papers include stories on the opening of a new hybrid threat centre in Helsinki, Nokia's commitments and promises in the wake of the acquisition of a French firm, and the impact of Norwegians travelling to Northern Finland for cheap food, alcohol and holiday homes.

Nokian pääkonttori Espoossa.
Nokia has come under fir in France for plans to cut jobs. Image: Markku Ojala / AOP

Finland has been on the frontlines of the fight against hybrid threats to security, and on Monday its role deepened with the opening of a new centre dedicated to combating such attacks. The issue of attacks straddling cyberspace, non-state actors, NGOs and other aspects of non-traditional warfare has shot up the international agenda, and that was reflected in the high-profile guest list for Monday's official opening ceremony.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini both turned up for the event, and Ilta-Sanomat led their coverage with the headline 'Nato leader thanks Finland'. The centre will bring together experts from both Nato and EU countries.

That of course is noteworthy, given Finland's non-membership of the US-led security organisation and proximity to Russia, which is broadly agreed to have some degree of prowess in orchestrating hybrid threats to other states. Finland's expertise in countering the risk of hybrid threats is noted by international observers, and the centre is one recognition of that.

Nokia promises

Nokia's takeover of the French firm Alcatel-Lucent hit the headlines again on Monday, particularly with regard to promises the Finnish firm made about retaining jobs in France. Helsingin Sanomat reports comments originally covered by Reuters.

As part of the takeover deal, Nokia agreed to maintain a staff of 4,200 in France until at least January 2018, and to create an additional 500 Research and Development jobs to bring the total employed in R&D to 2,500 by the end of 2018.

At present Reuters reports Nokia is set to hit 330 new R&D hires by the end of this year, and France's Junior Economy Minister Benjamin Griveaux told the wire service that the promises must be kept.

The statements came after the French government and unions announced they were looking into whether Nokia's plan to cut 600 jobs in France was in breach of the agreement struck with current French President Emmanuel Macron when he approved the takeover in his previous role as a Minister.

Norwegians in Lapland

Kauppalehti usually focuses on bigger businesses than a village grocery store, but on Tuesday it has a look at Kilpishalli, a K-Group supermarket in the far north, close to the Norwegian border. The business sells huge amounts of meat, cigarettes and alcohol to Norwegians travelling from as far away as Tromso to take advantage of the relatively cheap prices.

The paper says that busloads of Norwegian pensioners turn up quite regularly, buying up the pork loins on offer at the meat counter by the kilo. Prices are in Norwegian crowns, service is available in Norwegian, and the store owner is expanding the storage for beer, meat and other products thanks to the huge demand.

Norwegians are also keen to buy holiday homes in the tiny Lapland village, which is set in serene natural beauty but also sells everything you need for a barbecue at half the price it would be in Norway. Perhaps Norwegians are one of the very few customer demographics who would look at the average yearly temperature of -2.3 degrees and not be deterred.

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