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Tuesday's papers: Politicians vow to tackle warming, MEPs take on golden passports, new Vitamin D doses

Finland's newspapers continue coverage of alarming IPCC climate change findings, look at EU policy on issuing passports in return for investment, and more.

Tämä tyttö syntyi kuvanottohetkeä edeltäneenä yönä Lohjan sairaalassa.
File photo. Image: Paula Tiainen / Yle

Daily Helsingin Sanomat continues coverage of Finnish reaction to Monday's IPCC climate report, which calls for a "rapid and far-reaching" global response to climate change, as "warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes". The paper called the leaders of each of the parliamentary political parties in Finland to ask them what they plan to do.

HS notes that each of the decision-makers they contacted admitted that the onus was now on them. Finns Party chair Jussi Halla-aho said "The solution is in the hands of our country's leaders, not the regular people."

His polar opposite on Finland's political scale, Left Alliance chair Li Andersson agreed. She told the paper that although everyone's individual effort is important, "the IPCC message today speaks of the need for sizeable emissions reductions and measures that will extend to many areas, so we need to make political decisions without delay."

But the common ground ended there, because while Andersson says Finland should relinquish its reliance on peat and stop harvesting the trees in its forests, Halla-aho does not agree.

Acting Green Party chair Maria Ohisalo says she has the impression that Finnish people have long been frustrated with Finnish politicians dragging their feet on climate issues. She and Social Democrat Chair Antti Rinne agree that all is not lost, however, for as Rinne says, "We can make it happen, if we can find the political will." As a start, he proposes introducing incentives to get Finland's 200,000 homes that are still heated with oil to switch to geothermal.

Swedish People's Party chair Anna-Maja Henriksson tells the paper that "It is not necessary to eat meat every day", and Christian Democrat head Sari Essayah advises that everyone adopt a more "moderate lifestyle" when it comes to consumption. Centre-right National Coalition Party chair Petteri Orpo says it is now on Finnish decision-makers to make decisions that will assist people to make the right decisions, like making low-emission cars more readily available.

Prime Minister and Centre Party chair Juha Sipilä announced on Monday that he would be asking each of the parliamentary parties to a round-table discussion on the issue in November. "The goal is to forge a common understanding on Finland's climate change policy that is as broad as possible," he wrote in his blog, the paper reports.

MEPs demand common passport-issuing standards

The tabloid Iltalehti continues with a story from the Uutissuomalainen news service on so-called "golden passports", and a new poll that indicates that all 13 of Finland's Europarliamentarians want to crack down on the practice.

While over a dozen countries in Europe – the UK included – currently issue permanent residency "golden visas" to individuals who invest money in their country, some EU states like Malta and Cyprus go one step further and also offer citizenship.

The Finnish MEPs say that golden passports often lead to corruption and money laundering in Europe, and should therefore be monitored closely under joint game rules, such as more transparent criteria for application. The EU politicians from Finland say that the EU cannot address the problem adequately at present because each country is free to arrange the process independently.

Green Party MEP Heidi Hautala tells IL that the European Commission is currently considering a directive to give banks more authority in such matters, but Finland is at present one of the EU countries most opposed to the idea. She says Finland should "take a good look in the mirror", the tabloid reports.

Preliminary investigation into a suspected international money laundering scheme late last month found that the main suspect in the case, the Russian-born owner of the Airiston Helmi real estate firm, carries a golden passport from Malta.

New Vitamin D recommendation for infants

And then to the Joensuu-based newspaper Karjalainen that carries an article on new Vitamin D supplement recommendations for children under one year of age in Finland.

A new EU directive on Vitamin D content in infant formula has led to an update of Finland's Vitamin D recommendations for babies in Finland, with different supplement doses determined on a case-by-case basis in future, depending on whether the infant is breastfed, drinks formula or ingests other vitamin-fortified products or formulas.

For babies that are entirely breastfed, the recommended supplement will be 10 micrograms per day. But for babies that also drink infant formula, this daily recommended dose will drop to 6 or 2 micrograms per day, depending on the amount of formula or other products in use.

Karjalainen writes that Vitamin D supplement products that comply with the new recommendations will be available in Finland's stores this autumn.

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