Finland’s two tabloids both devote space on their front pages to the fallout from last month’s violation of Finnish airspace by Russian planes. Ilta-Sanomat focuses on the “embarrassing text-message blunder” which led to Prime Minister Katainen firstly receiving incorrect information by text message, and then not being shown the follow-up corrected version.
As a result Katainen erroneously told the press at the time that “Finland’s Hornet fighters were up there confronting the planes in a flash,” when in fact the response did not come until four hours after the first incursion.
Ilta-Sanomat describes the episode as a “farce”, which co-incidentally is similar to the verdict delivered by the head of parliament’s defence committee, which yesterday reviewed the defence administration’s response to the incident.
Sweeping changes ahead?
This morning’s Aamulehti carries a message for homeowners from the nation’s chimney sweeps: “Make your roof safe or face a fine”.
Summer is the prime season for fireplace-owners to have their flues inspected and cleaned. But today’s sweeps aren’t feeling quite as happy-go-lucky as their Mary Poppins counterparts.
Every year chimney sweeps are performing daring displays of roof-scaling with no safety equipment, the paper says. But in fact they are under no obligation to climb onto roofs that are not fitted with safety walkways, and some are now calling for fines to be introduced to force homeowners and management companies to make their roofs safe.
An engineer underlines the importance of having chimneys regularly cleaned, to reduce the risk of fire. But the paper says that potential wrangles over who is responsible for paying for the safety devices will make introducing any new regulations a complex process.
Wake up and smell the price rises
Finland’s trade and retail daily Kauppalehti looks into the rising food prices, and specifically the impact of a coffee price hike which is likely to cause a stir among Finnish drinkers of the dark stuff.
The country’s biggest roasters are raising their prices - Paulig recently added a euro to the per kilo cost of their coffee, while Meira have said that higher raw materials costs will be passed on to the consumer.
The paper says that freak weather is responsible for the rises, which started in January when drought in Brazil showed the first signs of affecting this year’s coffee yield. Farmers in Brazil will be harvesting this year’s coffee crop at the end of this month. This sets the price for the year, so we will soon know the extent of the damage to the crop, and to shoppers’ wallets.
Price rises are a big thing for Finns, Kauppalehti says, even though coffee is a low-cost product. A Paulig representative tells the paper that around half of Finns buy their coffee when it’s under offer in the shop, and a third say they choose their brand each time dependent on the price reduction.
At the last coffee price peak, in 2011, Finland’s consumption fell by 2-3 percent. Both the big producers say they’re expecting a similar fall this time round too.