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Wednesday's papers: More ministers announced, police mull resources, author thanks goalie

Three Greens MPs get their portfolios, police need more officers and novelist Hanya Yanagihara sent a letter to the world ice hockey champion goalkeeper.

Vihreiden uudet ministerit, ympäristö- ja ilmastoministeri Krista Mikkonen, sisäministeri Maria Ohisalo ja ulkoministeri Pekka Haavisto vihreiden tiedotustilaisuudessa
Krista Mikkonen, Maria Ohisalo and Pekka Haavisto are likely to become the new Greens ministers. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland's next government is gradually taking shape, and daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that the Green Party's choices of minister were announced late on Tuesday.

The five-hour meeting to determine the Greens' new ministers ended at 10.20 pm on Tuesday. The results: current Greens chair Pekka Haavisto will likely become Minister of Foreign Affairs, the incoming chair Maria Ohisalo is pegged for the Interior Minister's portfolio and MP Krista Mikkonen will probably step in as Minister of the Environment at the Greens party conference on 15 June.

Before the announcements speculation surrounded the possible nomination of Greens MP Oras Tynkkynen, who is not in the party's parliamentary group but proposed that the Environment Minister's post be shared between himself and another party colleague. His bid was unsuccessful, losing by just one vote (29-28), HS wrote.

More than 60 Greens politicians took part in the marathon meeting on Tuesday, and the lengthy talks ended on a high note, said Haavisto.

"People wanted to hear the details, so we went through the government programme page by page," he said. "There was discussion around issues such as the contents of animal rights legislation and refugee quotas. All in all the assessment was positive."

The Left Alliance (whose MPs will become Minister of Education and Minister of Social Affairs and Health) and the Centre Party (ministers of Finance, Science and Culture, Economic Affairs and Development, Defense, and Agriculture) have yet to announce their nominees.

Police Federation calls gov't proposition "hallucination"

Meanwhile regional paper Turun Sanomat published an article on police resource allocation. Finnish Police Federation (SPJL) chair Jonne Rinne called the new government programme unrealistic in terms of how many new officers would need to be trained by 2022.

The programme calls for 300 more police officers to be trained within three years, to bring the total number of Finnish cops up to 7,500. Rinne told TS that this is not at all what the SPJL had in mind.

"We would need close to one thousand new recruits for the government programme to work. Vision without the capacity to enact it is hallucination," Rinne told the paper.

The programme also calls for several requirements: police must in future clearly define response times in rural areas as well as develop community policing practices, monitoring of heavy traffic, preventive crime-fighting and measures to combat and investigate internet crime, human trafficking, terrorism and money laundering.

SPJL's Rinne told TS that his organisation is glad that plans are being made to improve police resources. The number of police officers per citizen is by far the lowest in the Nordic countries, the paper wrote.

Celebrated author writes to celebrated goalkeeper

Finland became the world champion in men's ice hockey in late May, and tabloids rushed to interview the star players. Ilta-Sanomat featured a follow-up story on the national team's goalkeeper Kevin Lankinen, who said he was reading a book to relax when not playing or training.

The specific book Lankinen mentioned at the time was American author Hanya Yanagihara's thousand-page novel A Little Life, an international bestseller that has gained multiple awards and shortlist mentions.

The author herself reached out to Lankinen this week, thanking him for bringing her novel to a new audience and saying she was "deeply honoured and grateful".

"You've already inspired your fans and countrymen with your skills on the ice – now you're making them readers, as well!" IS quotes her letter.

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