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Wednesday's papers: Eurovision woes, more shipyard jobs confirmed, "Finland First" protestors being moved, and yes, snow in May

Nearly every newspaper’s front page in the country carries a headline about the early elimination of Finland's entry from the Eurovision song contest. In other news, anti-immigration protesters are being moved out of Helsinki's railway station square, Meyer Turku confirms around 500 new jobs, and some parts of the country woke up to more than just a dusting of snow.

pianisti ja laulaja
The Finnish duo Norma John (Lasse Piirainen and Leena Tirronen) are out of the running in the Eurovision Song Contest. Image: Ilmari Herranen / EPA

Finland's hopes in the Eurovision song contest crashed and burned Tuesday evening when this year's entry, "Blackbird" by the duo Norma John (pianist Lasse Piirainen and vocalist Leena Tirronen) was eliminated in the first semi-final in Kiev. This is the third year in a row that the Finnish entry failed to make it to the finals.

Early this morning, the most read item on the web service of the daily Helsingin Sanomat was a commentary by Tuomas Kaseva looking at the reasons why the Finnish entry didn't make it any further.

He states that the obvious reason is that it didn't get enough votes, anything else is speculation. And so he speculates.

The competition was tough on Tuesday, writes Kaseva, tougher than it will be in Thursday's semi-final. Then, only the countries in Tuesday's elimination round could vote - and while two countries that usually back the Finnish entry, Sweden and Iceland, were there, two others who would have likely given the Finnish entry a boost, Estonia and Norway, were not.

It's also possible that the Finnish entry's melody and words were too simple, the performance too plain for a giant stage, too difficult for fans to get excited about, too much of one thing and not enough of another.

"Maybe Finland didn't make it because this is the Eurovision Song Contest. It has always been characteristic of this competition that anything can happen. The best song has not always won because what is best depends on the listener and there are 200 million of them."

"Finland First" getting the boot?

The main front-page item in the freesheet Metro today says anti-immigration protesters camped out at Helsinki's main railway square may be evicted to make way for the country's biggest multicultural event, the World Village Festival which is being held in Helsinki on the 27th and 28th of this month.

Drawing on an article published by Helsingin Sanomat, Metro reports that the encampment occupied by protesters representing the "Finland First" group is within the area reserved for the festival and if not moved would block one of the walkways.

In contrast, an asylum seekers' protest camp in the same square will not have to move out if they downsize their own encampment.

The paper quotes a festival spokesperson as saying that the anti-immigration group had not been in contact about the possible move, but that the group of asylum seekers had opened talks on needed arrangements.

One of the main themes of this year's World Village Festival in Helsinki is the global refugee situation.

"We want a discussion reflecting diverse values for the festival, but we cannot organize the event in such a way that in the midst of it all we have a protest blocking emergency lanes and walkways," festival programme director Outi Hannula told the paper.

More jobs confirmed

Turun Sanomat reports that a major order for the construction of two massive cruise vessels by the Meyer Turku shipyard has been confirmed and the company now intends to recruit 500 new workers.

The paper says that the Meyer has sealed a 1.6 billion euro deal with Carnival Cruise Line for delivery of one of the vessels in 2020 and the second in 2022. This means that the yard's order books are full up to 2024.

Meyer told Turun Sanomat that the yard's entire profit of 25 million from last year will be plowed back into production as part of an investment in excess of 100 million.

The company will be recruiting around 500 new employees by the end of 2018.

The paper notes that the head of TUI Cruises has previously also said that his company would like to order two more ships from the Turku yards, but as of Tuesday, no further information was available on that possible contract.

About that snow...

The Kuopio-based Savon Sanomat reports today that unseasonably cold temperatures and a late spring are delaying planting and sowing in the Savo region. This in turn may mean that one of the most keenly awaited crops of the summe, early season potatoes, may be still long delayed.

There is a time-honoured saying in Finnish that can be translated as "Summer in Finland is short, but the snow isn't very deep."

Parts of north Savo received well more than a dusting of snow on Tuesday evening as can be seen from a gallery of readers' photos published by Savon Sanomat.

Among the accompanying comments: "The picnic season started and it ended."

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