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Tuesday's papers: Racism in Finland, robot buses in Lapland, and theme park auction

The newspapers on Tuesday include stories about an EU report detailing racism in Finland, robot bus tests in Lapland and selling off theme park attractions.

ihmisiä huvipuiston rappusissa
Linnanmäki's funhouse has been wowing Helsinki crowds since 1961. Image: Antti Lähteenmäki / Yle

Last week saw the publication of a report into discrimination in all 28 EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Finland was ranked as the second most discriminatory country in the study after Luxembourg, and on Sunday Helsingin Sanomat published a story on the report.

It had some grim stats for Finland, with the standout fact being that 45 percent of the Finland-based sub-Saharan Africans questioned in the survey had experienced discrimination in the last 12 months.

On Tuesday HS followed up with reaction from the Somali Union in Finland, Somaliliitto. The union's chair Arshe Said that he's not surprised by the findings.

"Negative public discussions about all immigrants increased in 2015 and 2016, when lots of asylum seekers arrived in the country," said Said.

He added that there's also a big problem underpinning the results: authorities in Finland have been slow and reluctant to intervene. He also mentioned ethnic profiling as an issue--but the study did show greater trust in police among ethnic minorities in Finland than minorities in other EU states.

Robots head to Lapland

Aamulehti takes a look at the burgeoning robotics industry as it looks to conquer the transport industry. Specifically, the provincial daily went to Lapland to see how robot buses are doing in the cold, dark, sparsely-populated test regions of northern Finland.

"If the technology works here, it'll work anywhere," said Harri Santamala of robotics firm Sensible4.

His firm's vehicle, Juto, managed a test run on a closed track before some data-gathering journeys (with a driver) on public roads in Muonio, by the Swedish border. Santamala reckons that his machine handles damp conditions better than the competition, and he's already looking to identify potential markets.

China and Asia are the big ones, but Finland is home turf and Santamala says the countryside could be the best testing ground for the new technology thanks to the quiet roads and uncomplicated routes.

Funhouse for sale

Helsinki's Linnanmäki theme park is shutting down its Vekkula funhouse, and it wants to get rid of the attraction. What better way than to sell it off in an auction?

Ilta-Sanomat reports that 12 parts of the funhouse are available, including a wobbly rope bridge, a moving staircase, a 2.3 metre clown's face and a rotating barrel. Move quickly if you want an unorthodox feature added to your home, as the auction started on Monday.

All proceeds will go to support child protection work.

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