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Tuesday's papers: Sote timetable, carbon neutrality and train chaos

The press on Tuesday covers tense developments in parliament, Tampere's efforts to go carbon neutral and commuter rail disruption in Helsinki.

Junat_liikennemuutoksia
Train timetables have changed for the summer.

The plan to reform health and social care has been long in the works, with plentiful delays and disruption, and the media on Tuesday covers new twists and turns. It is a fateful day for the government's proposal, with the health and social care committee in parliament deciding on Tuesday morning that they will sit for an extra week in July and then another couple of days in August.

The Centre Party of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is keen to get the reform passed so that elections to new regional governments can be held before European and parliamentary elections due next spring. That won't now happen, with the reform itself delayed further and the regional elections to take place in conjunction with parliamentary elections due in spring 2019.

To do that, the committee's work should be completed by the end of July--and that wouldn't happen even if the committee 'stands on its head', as National Coalition MP and committee member Sari Sarkomaa colourfully put it to Helsingin Sanomat.

That's not the end of the drama, however, as on Monday evening Prime Minister said on Yle's A-Studio talk show that if the proposal was delayed, he would force a confidence vote in parliament.

Carbon neutral Tampere

Many Finnish municipalities are keen to announce plans to go carbon neutral, bolstering their green credentials and putting some flesh on the bones of an environmentally-friendly future.

Aamulehti looks at Tampere's programme on Tuesday, noting how the largest inland city in the Nordics plans to make itself climate-friendly. The city's target is to be carbon neutral by 2030, and they hope to achieve that by focusing on construction, energy and transport.

The city's new tram system, which is currently under construction and due to enter service in 2021, is a central part of the plan. Electricity is another, with the city's power firm claiming it already runs on 47 percent renewable energy. Smarter use of district heating systems could help too, with heating turned down a notch at certain times.

Tampere's biggest rival Turku announced recently that it would go for carbon neutrality by 2029, a year earlier than Tampere, but Kari Kankaala of Tampere council says he does not believe that was done to needle his city--it was probably down to the 800-year anniversary of the founding of Turku.

Rail disruption in Helsinki

Helsinki commuters on Monday got to grips with disrupted rail timetables as track work between the Helsinki and Pasila stations got going. Some commuter trains are not going all the way to the Central Railway Station but terminating instead at Pasila, forcing some passengers to change trains to complete their journeys.

HS went to Pasila station on Monday to see how people were adjusting, and found a surprisingly calm atmosphere. One of the guides stationed on platforms to direct commuters to the correct service said she'd had one aggressive comment but most people were calm and friendly.

A communications officer for the state railway firm VR told the paper that people should reserve some 5-10 minutes to change trains at Pasila. That was not enough time for Casper, who usually changes trains in two minutes by running from one train to the next--but on Monday ran to the wrong platform as his usual train had switched.

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