The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is concerned that not all borrowers are sufficiently informed about the conditions of their loans in Finland. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) and DBRS, a Toronto, Canada-headquartered credit rating agency, have both warned Finland of problems associated with its labour markets and household indebtedness.

The IMF on Thursday acknowledged that the country has recently experienced healthy economic growth and seen unemployment decrease to its lowest level since 2011.

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Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, was photographed in the reception hall of the Finnish Parliament House on Friday, 18 January 2019. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH Ministry for Foreign Affairs will review Finland’s international agreements in order to determine if they could be amended to enable better management and control of immigration policy.

The Finnish government convened twice last week to weigh up its response to revelations about serious sex crimes against children in Helsinki and Oulu, North Ostrobothnia.

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The Finns Party is enjoying a resurgence under the leadership of Jussi Halla-aho. Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday said support for the opposition party rose to 9.7 per cent between December and January. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNS PARTY has re-established itself as the fifth most popular political party in Finland, confirms the latest opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper wrote yesterday that voter support for the populist, right-wing opposition party jumped by 1.3 percentage points to 9.7 per cent between December and January. The Left Alliance, by contrast, saw its popularity dwindle by 0.2 percentage points to 9.4 per cent.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö (right) inspected the guard of honour in Beijing, China, on Monday, 14 January 2019. (Credit: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND and China have announced their intention to increase co-operation in a number of sectors in conjunction with the meeting between Presidents Sauli Niinistö and Xi Jinping in Beijing on 14–15 January.

The Finnish Ministry of Culture and Education and Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday signed a letter of intent to enhance co-operation on culture and cultural tourism.

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Finns view that the best way for service providers to build trust with their users is to allow users to control whether their data is supplied to third parties, according to a survey by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

FINNS have changed the way they use digital services in the wake of reports about data breaches, indicates a survey commissioned by the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra).

Over four in ten (42%) of the roughly 2,000 Finns who responded to the survey stated that they agree fully or partly with the statement that a lack of trust in service providers has prevented them from using digital services.

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Heavy snowfall is expected to worsen road conditions in many southern parts of Finland on Thursday, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

A BLIZZARD is expected to dump up to 20 centimetres of snow on southern parts of Finland on Thursday, says the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

FMI on Wednesday highlighted that on average snowfall of 20 centimetres is witnessed no more than three times a year in Uusimaa. Commuters, as a result, should consider telecommuting or taking the day off entirely, according to two meteorologists at the government forecasting and weather data agency.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) was surrounded by members of the media at the Oulu City Hall on Saturday, 12 January 2019. (Credit: Timo Heikkala – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT will hold an extraordinary meeting today due to the “inhumane and condemnable” events that have transpired in Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) said on Sunday.

Another similar meeting has been scheduled for Friday, according to Sipilä.

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Oulu, a roughly 200,000-resident city in North Ostrobothnia, has been rocked by reports that several men of immigrant backgrounds are suspected of serious sex crimes against children. (Credit: Timo Heikkala – Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of sex crimes reported to law enforcement authorities increased by 13.8 per cent year-on-year in Finland in 2018, according to Statistics Finland.

The number of rapes reported to authorities rose by 7.5 per cent to 1,338 and that of sexual harassment by almost 28 per cent to 529 in 2018. The number of rape reports remained below the previous year’s level for more than half of last year before rising between August and September.

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Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice, says Finland abandoned the emergency law practice long time ago, thus rejecting a proposal tabled by the Blue Reform. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Justice Antti Häkkänen (NCP) has shot down calls to adopt a new position on the UN Refugee Convention.

The Blue Reform proposed on Tuesday that Finland re-interpret the convention and amend the constitution in order to allow authorities to deport people found guilty of aggravated sex crimes even if the deportation would otherwise be impossible due to the security situation in their country of origin.

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This week, temperatures could drop to their lowest levels yet this winter in various parts of Finland, views Markus Mäntykannas, a meteorologist at Foreca. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

PEOPLE in Finland should brace for very low temperatures over the next couple of weeks, says Markus Mäntykannas, a meteorologist at Foreca.

Mäntykannas on Sunday wrote in a blog for the private weather forecasting company that the mercury may plummet as low as -25ºC in southern and -35ºC in northern parts of the country as soon as this week.

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The British Parliament on Tuesday voted 432 to 202 to reject a deal laying out the terms of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union. (Credit: Mark Duffy – AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE BRITISH Parliament’s decision to reject the Brexit deal of Prime Minister Theresa May will make it considerably more difficult for Finnish businesses to adapt to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, gauges Timo Vuori, the director for international affairs at Finland Chamber of Commerce.

Vuori on Wednesday said the collapse of the deal is toxic for trade and complicates the operations of the over 15,000 Finnish export and import companies dealing with the UK.

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Antti Kaikkonen (right), the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, and Antti Lindtman (left), the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, spoke to reporters after a meeting of all parliamentary groups over the suspected sex crimes in Helsinki and Oulu. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

ANTTI Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, announced yesterday all parliamentary groups have agreed to expedite three legislative projects in response to recent revelations about sex crimes against children in Helsinki and Oulu.

The proposals aim to prevent and introduce tougher punishments for sex crimes.

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Ilta-Sanomat reports that police conducted a house search in Roihuvuori, Helsinki, on Saturday. Police said the operation is part of an ongoing investigation but declined to confirm reports it is related to the sex crimes investigation. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THREE MEN of immigrant backgrounds were arrested on suspicion of aggravated rape and aggravated child sexual abuse in Helsinki on Saturday, Pekka Korhonen, a detective chief inspector at Helsinki Police Department, has confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat.

The offences are believed to have taken place between 1 November 2018 and 9 January 2019, according to a press release from Helsinki Police Department.

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A recent study indicates that the impact of fuel tax hikes on regional diesel prices depends partly on the income level and population density of the region. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

RESEARCHERS at the VATT Institute for Economic Research, Labour Institute for Economic Research and University of California, Berkeley have calculated how changes in car and fuel tax rates have shaped the vehicle fleet in Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The Finnish government adjusted the tax rates in 2003, 2008 and 2012 in an attempt to encourage car owners to upgrade to lower-emission cars.

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Three people were brought into custody during a house search in Roihuvuori, Helsinki, on Saturday, 12 Saturday. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

HELSINKI Police Department has shed further light on the investigation as part of which three people were brought into custody in an eastern area of the Finnish capital on Saturday.

A police spokesperson said yesterday two of the three men have been released after it was determined there is currently no reason to suspect them of any involvement in the suspected sex crimes against children.

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A police van parked outside Valkea Shopping Centre in Oulu on 6 December 2018. The local police has pleaded with the public not to harass or threaten people who appear to be of foreign origin. (Credit: Timo Heikkala – Lehtikuva)

POLICE are investigating four new sex crimes against under 15-year-old girls in Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland.

Oulu Police Department on Friday reported that three men of foreign backgrounds have been brought into custody for probable cause of rape, aggravated child sexual abuse and child sexual abuse in connection with the pre-trial investigations.

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