The sum of wages in the private social and health care sector rose by 6.5 per cent in Finland between November 2018 and January 2019, according to Statistics Finland. (Vincenzo Pinto – AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE SUM of Finnish salaries and wages increased by 4.8 per cent year-on-year in the three months leading up to February 2019.

Statistics Finland on Thursday revealed that the increase was driven particularly by an up-tick of 6.5 per cent in the private social and health care sector, one of 5.2 per cent in the construction sector and one of five per cent in other service sectors.

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Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori offered his thoughts on the coalition formation talks in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 28 May 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE MAYORS of the so-called C21 cities view that the social and health care reform pursued by the new government will fail to solve key social and health care problems and limit the ability of cities to function as national and regional drivers of growth and development.

C21 is a network of the 21 largest cities and towns in Finland.

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Olli Rehn, the governor of the Bank of Finland, talked about the central bank’s growth forecast for 2019–2021 in a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. (Anni Reenpää – Lehtikuva)

CONCERNS about the trend of the global economy are casting a shadow over the economic outlook for Finland.

The Bank of Finland on Tuesday announced it has slashed its growth forecast for the national economy from 1.9 to 1.6 per cent for 2019 and from 1.7 to 1.5 per cent for 2020, saying the growth will rest largely on domestic consumption and investment.

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A woman in a grocery shop in Espoo, Finland, on 24 May 2017. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE IMPLICATIONS of the Finnish government’s intent to rein in private-label products remain unknown also to grocery retailers, says Mikko Helander, the chief executive of Kesko.

The government states in its newly published government programme that it is planning on improving the position of farmers in the food chain the limit the dominant bargaining position of large retail chains with legislative measures on, for example, private-label products.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s government is intent on lengthening the earnings-related leaves allocated to fathers without reducing the share allocated to mothers. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE CONFEDERATION of Finnish Industries (EK) has expressed its disappointment with the family leave reform plans of the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

“The government’s family leave reform will improve neither equality, nor the well-being of families,” declared Vesa Rantahalvari, the director in charge of social, health and labour force issues at EK.

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Li Andersson (Left Alliance), the Minister of Education, says preventing social exclusion is not the main objective of the decision to raise the school-leaving age. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

LI ANDERSSON (Left Alliance), the Minister of Education, has responded to an open letter addressed to her by Arno Kotro, the chairperson of the Ethical Committee for the Teaching Profession.

The letter has received widespread attention on social media after its publication last week on Puheenvuoro.

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Kris Ostergaard spoke about future and failure

If you have not heard of the Singularity University, it’s time to do a Google or Youtube search and dig into it. Not because it’s great or it sucks; but because it is definitely worth acknowledging.

This university does not give you a degree as such, but will try to open your mind and widen your horizon. Granted that this trend has been around for a while and TED talks are a good example of a non-profit intellectual sharing economy of thoughts and ideas. Singularity University based and founded in the Silicon Valley, however is geared towards management level, will charge you for it and promises to deliver more.

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Timo Harakka (SDP), the Minister of Employment, has denied reports that the government is expecting labour market organisations to agree on measures to create 30,000 new jobs. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

TIMO HARAKKA (SDP), the Minister of Employment, has refuted reports that the new government has compelled labour market organisations to agree on measures to create 30,000 new jobs in Finland by 2023.

“Nothing like that is stated in the government programme,” he said on Wednesday.

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Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has assured that the government will deliver on its promise to abolish the activation model for unemployment security. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

AINO-KAISA PEKONEN (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has confirmed that the activation model for unemployment security will be scrapped.

Abolishing the much-berated model was one of the main campaign promises of the Social Democratic Party, the winner of the parliamentary elections held in Finland in April. The compromise found by the five ruling parties, however, has stirred up doubts about whether the government is willing to deliver on the promise.

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New Speakers of the Parliament, from left to right, Tuula Haatainen (SDP), Matti Vanhanen (Centre) and Juho Eerola (PS) posed for a photograph in the Finnish Parliament on Friday, 7 June 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

EX-PRIME MINISTER Matti Vanhanen (Centre) has been appointed as the new Speaker of the Finnish Parliament.

Vanhanen on Friday received a vote of approval from 141 Members of the Parliament. Tuula Haatainen (SDP) was appointed as the First Deputy Speaker and Juho Eerola (PS) as the Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament later on Friday.

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Jarkko Eloranta, the chairperson of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), suggests the upcoming round of collective bargaining talks could determine whether the employment rate can be raised to 75 per cent in Finland. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

LABOUR MARKET ORGANISATIONS have shed light on the measures they believe will be necessary to raise the employment rate to 75 per cent ahead of their much-anticipated negotiations with the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

Jyri Häkämies, the chief executive of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), told Uusi Suomi on Monday that the objective is extremely important.

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The Finnish government’s plan to adopt a tax on plastic packaging would give foreign online retailers an unfair competitive advantage over their Finnish rivals, says the Finnish Commerce Federation. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH COMMERCE FEDERATION has expressed its strong reservations about a tax on plastic packaging proposed by the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

The Finnish government has promised to thoroughly explore the possibilities to use tax policy to promote the transition towards a circular economy by the framework budget session scheduled for the first half of next year.

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Marko "Mörkö" Anttila of Jokers in a press conference after returning from the world cup where he was a star player

The new owner of the Jokerit KHL club, Jari Kurri, who officially took over in May 2019, is determined to obtain the financial support of Finnish businesses. At the moment, the hockey club is experiencing serious financial problems due to the destructive management of its previous owners.

Earlier, 49% of Jokerit’s stocks belonged to companies in the American sanction list. 

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The Twitter profile of the Finns Party Youth on 24 May 2019. (Lehtikuva)

THE MINISTRY of Education and Culture has continued to chew over the fate of the state aid of the Finns Party Youth.

Uusi Suomi in May reported that officials at the ministry have concluded that it is possible to suspend and claw back state aid from the political youth organisation due to a series of controversial public statements made by its members.

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The Finnish government will have to create an increase of more than 60,000 in the ranks of the employed to haul the employment rate to 75 per cent, view economists. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

RAISING the employment rate to the target of 75 per cent will require that approximately 74,000 people join the ranks of the employed in Finland, estimates Sami Pakarinen, the chief economist at the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).

“You have to adjust more than a couple of notches to be better on course towards this target,” he commented on Twitter on Sunday.

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It all started with someone calling the police last summer when a woman went topless in a beach in Hyvinkää, a small city near Helsinki Finland.

Säde Vallarén 30, and Sandra Marins 28 decided to hit back with arranging a “tits flashmob” to raise awareness on equality and women’s right to their own body.

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