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Tuesday’s papers: Thriving middle class, hotel boom and hungry bears

Most Finns now are middle-class, hotels bank on nature-inspired travel, nurses demand a stop to harassment, and bears destroy beeyards in search of honey.

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Most Finns now are middle-class, hotels bank on nature-inspired travel, nurses demand a stop to harassment, and bears destroy beeyards in search of honey. Image: Jukka Brusila

Some 3,7 million Finns—that’s 68 percent of the population—are middle class, finds a fresh study by business and policy think-tank EVA, cited in business daily Kauppalehti. This group's income rose by some two percent annually between 1995 and 2016. During this period, the middle class saw its disposable income grow by 45 percent. Finland’s middle class is among the healthiest in Europe, with Nordic neighbours Sweden and Denmark having middle classes of similar size. Comparatively, 58 percent of Estonians and 56 percent of Spaniards are considered middle-class.

Hotel construction boom

Kauppalehti also reports that Finland is seeing a hotel construction boom, particularly in the capital city region and Lapland in the far north, according to a report by KTI Propert Information, a research organisation for the real estate industry. The hotel construction boom is being fueled by a growing nature-based travel trend, says the organisation. Dozens of new hotels are going up around the country, with investors pouring hundreds of millions of euros into expanding the country’s hotel industry

Average salary 427,879 euros

Meanwhile, CEOs in Finland do not earn 'super-salaries', writes Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, citing the latest corporate governance report issued by the Finland Chamber of Commerce. CEO compensation in Finland varies greatly, with the lowest-paid CEO of a listed company pulling down 114,000 euros in annual salary compared to 1.16 million at the highest end of the scale. The average CEO salary was 427,879 euros, a 1.7 percent increase over the previous year.

Nurses face sexual harassment

Regional daily Turun Sanomat writes that nearly half of nurses in Finland have been the target of sexual harassment, according to a study by Tehy, the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland. The union calls for employers to take a tougher stance on caregiver harassment, for example making offenders face the same consequences as those who assault police officers. Tehy also wants nurses to internalize a zero-tolerance approach to harassment, as many in the profession routinely put up with being patients’ emotional punching bags.

Bears foraging in beeyards

This spring has seen some 30 incidents of bear beeyard damage, reports agricultural newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus. Seventy hives have been destroyed this spring, according to the Finnish Beekeepers' Association. This year bears are foraging close to populated areas. The southern-most incident was reported some 20 kilometres from the southeastern Russian border in Miehikkälä, where a bear, undeterred by an electric fence, tore down two hives 100 metres from a house. This was the bear’s third springtime visit to that beeyard.

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