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Wednesday's papers: Racist nurse, unemployment statistics and self-stabbing asylum seekers

Wednesday's newspapers include stories on a shocking video of a nurse in Helsinki detailing how she mistreats immigrant patients, a dive into the confusing world of Finnish unemployment statistics, and

Huslab kamppi
Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

On Tuesday Iltalehti's website published a disturbing scoop about a nurse in Helsinki caught in a YouTube video explaining her hostile attitudes and practice towards patients with an immigrant background. In the video the nurse says that her entire demeanour towards patients she regards as immigrants is hostile.

"I don't say 'good morning', I don't acknowledge them at all," said the nurse in the video, which was recorded and uploaded to YouTube by an acquaintance. "They are dirt under my feet. I show them with every gesture that they piss me off."

The nurse then said that she used the thickest possible needle when taking blood from migrant patients.

"They whine when I prick the skin," said the nurse.

IL reports that the nurse has been fired, but neither Myllypuro health centre nor HUSLAB, the laboratory service in Helsinki and Uusimaa for whom the nurse worked, would confirm that.

"We were informed of the matter on 18 September," said Ragnar Ulfvens. "Of course it's really aggravating, a really bad thing, that something like this could happen. Really shocking, I can't say any more."

Asylum seeker stabbings

Last Friday saw a twin stabbing on the steps of parliament, when two asylum seekers knifed themselves in the stomach to draw attention to their plight. Police were tight-lipped about the details of the case, but Ilta-Sanomat reports new details on Tuesday.

The paper has met the two asylum seekers, and reports that they are Nikita and Aleksandr, a gay couple from Russia. Their asylum claim had been fast-tracked, according to IS, and were threatened with deportation to Russia.

The paper reports that the pair say they have no intention of going back to Russia, and that they were ready to die when they started their protest on Friday.

"We weren't just thinking of ourselves, we wanted our actions to be of use to other Russian gay couples, so that Finland might realise they are in a hopeless situation," the paper reports Aleksandr as saying. "We choose parliament as the location precisely so that the legislators might wake up.

Lies, damn lies and....

Tuesday saw the release of unemployment statistics and, as usual, some political to-and-fro over how good they were. Finance Minister Petteri Orpo tweeted the success of his government's policies, citing an employment rate of 70.5 percent, while one month ago Juha Sipilä said that the 'impossible had become possible'. Taloussanomat takes a look behind the figures on Wednesday to see whether those claims really stand up.

One immediate issue is that employment has risen by 7,000 year-on-year, according to Statistics Finland, but the number of unemployed jobseekers has fallen by a whopping 54,000.

The first thing to point out is that Statistics Finland uses a sampling method and the margin of error is 32,000--four times more than the increase in employment. The number of unemployed jobseekers is recorded by the Ministry of Employment as the number of people actually signed on to look for work.

That has been affected by rule changes implemented in July that automatically cut off unemployed people if they do not fulfil the obligations required of them. The second is the so-called Lex Lindström, which is an initiative to allow people who are long-term unemployed and close to retirement age to switch to a pension rather than unemployment benefits.

TS concludes that the sensible measure of employment is the seasonally-adjusted employment rate, which in August stood at 69.4 percent. That's some way short of the government's 72 percent target, and a full percentage point below the figure triumphantly tweeted by the Finance Minister.

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