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Wednesday's papers: Pension pipeline, postponed parties, and supersub Rantanen

An unusual goal for Finland lit up social media on Tuesday night.

Amanda Rantanen.
As of 2 December 2020 Amanda Rantanen has played one minute of international football, in one match, and scored one goal. Image: AOP

Helsingin Sanomat's editorial page takes a look at the so-called 'pension pipeline', which has been up for reform for some time, and Finland's 'tripartite' labour market system, which has been creaking under the strain of political and economic pressures.

The idea is that if a person close to retirement age gets laid off, they receive the higher, income-linked unemployment benefit payments for longer to take them up to the age when they can claim their pension.

It is a handy system for them, and for employers looking to cut costs, but economists fear it reduces employment rates among this older age group. So there is a desire to remove the option in order to increase employment,

Finland's government had asked the so-called 'tripartite' labour market organisations — unions and employers, alongside the government — to try and agree a solution, but on Monday they announced they had failed to reach a deal.

That means the government will have to legislate on the issue, if they want to resolve it. And HS says this could be a tricky matter for the government as the SDP and Left Alliance are close to the trade unions which want to protect the interests of workers.

HS suggests that this may be another step towards the end of the tripartite system, with governments taking greater control of labour market laws and rules.

With the government parties set to meet later this week to discuss the matter, Iltalehti reports that Left Alliance leader Li Andersson has said she will recommend mandating increased redundancy payments for older workers, as a way of ensuring they are not first to get the boot when lay-offs take place.

That proposal would be music to the ears of trade unions, but anathema to employers — signalling the possible changes ahead when politicians, rather than trade unions and employers, make the rules.

Sedu switches party

Nightclub entrepreneur and former football club owner Seppo 'Sedu' Koskinen has been in the headlines recently over his plan to host a 'party' at which guests would pay 200 euros as a 'contribution'.

The event was described by Koskinen as a private party, but without that technicality would have breached coronavirus rules in spirit at least.

And as such Koskinen was heavily criticised for his plan, as the Helsinki region entered a period of tighter restrictions to try and slow the spread of coronavirus.

Iltalehti reports on Wednesday, however, that 'Sedu' has relented and moved the party to New Year's Eve instead, while also launching a screed of Covid-denialist invective on social media, saying the 'corona panic' was a 'political show'.

Koskinen is not a trained epidemiologist or even a doctor. IL reports that regional authorities said they would consult with police and prevent any event that breaches coronavirus guidance, as outlined under the infections diseases legislation.

Rantanen to the rescue

Finland has had an extraordinary football autumn, with the men's national team beating World Champions France in Paris, but on Tuesday the women took centre stage.

They faced Scotland in Edinburgh in qualifying for the 2021 European Championships, and were under heavy pressure for much of the match, but it all came good in the end.

Substitute Amanda Rantanen of Pk-35 came on with 94 minutes played. Her role was mainly to waste time, but after one minute on the field she broke free of the Scotland defence and scored the winning goal after her initial show rebounded off the goalkeeper, smacked her in the face and looped into the net.

She then burst into tears of joy (and possibly pain) as the referee blew the final whistle, and Finnish social media exploded with memes and celebrations.

Ilta-Sanomat has some of the best, but we preferred watching the goal with a musical accompaniment.

The win leaves Finland assured of a play-off place in the qualifiers, and they will qualify automatically if they retain top spot.

Video: Amanda Rantanen.

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