Ministers Timo Harakka (left), Antti Rinne (centre) and Mika Lintilä (right) were photographed in a joint employment seminar of the government and labour market organisations in Helsinki on 19 June 2019. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

FORMER MINISTER OF EMPLOYMENT Jari Lindström (BR) estimates that the much-berated activation model for unemployment security should be patched up rather than stripped of its key features: the activity requirements and cuts in unemployment benefits.

Lindström wrote on Puheenvuoro on Wednesday that he is puzzled by the debate surrounding the model, which imposes a set of activity-related criteria on unemployed job seekers.

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OL3, the third plant unit at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland, was initially scheduled for completion in 2009. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

TEOLLISUUDEN VOIMA (TVO) has revealed it has received an updated schedule for the start-up of Olkiluoto 3, the third plant unit at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland, from Areva-Siemens.

According to the new schedule, the unit is currently expected to commence regular electricity production six months behind the previous schedule, in July 2020.

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Sanna Marin (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has reminded that switching from petrol to electric vehicles alone will not be enough to achieve the emissions reduction target in transport. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

SANNA MARIN (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has identified three important transport-related developments that should be promoted to benefit the climate.

Marin said in Pori on Tuesday that the government must take action to reduce the mobility needs of people by planning cities so that jobs, services and residential areas are linked with good public transport connections.

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Finnish young people participated in a school strike for climate outside the Parliament House in Helsinki on 24 May 2019. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH government must take action to ensure young people can have faith in the future, underlines Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens).

The Children and Youth Foundation on Friday reported that young people believe widely that tackling climate change will be a pre-requirement for well-being in Finland in 2050. Yet, only six per cent of the over 4,300 15–29-year-olds surveyed voiced their confidence that the effort to tackle the crisis will succeed.

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Certain products approaching their expiration dates have been sold at an additional discount late in the evening at Prisma hypermarkets since early 2018. (Kristiina Lehto – Lehtikuva)

S GROUP, a Finnish retail co-operative, has pledged to reduce the food loss arising from its operations by 15 per cent by 2020.

“Our happy-hour prices for the evening hours will be adopted on a nationwide scale. During these hours, customers will get a 60 per cent discount on products whose expiration dates are approaching,” the retail giant said in a press release on Thursday.

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Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, was photographed at a meeting of the Finns Party at SuomiAreena, a political debate event held annually in Pori, Western Finland, on Tuesday. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

KEY MEMBERS of the Finns Party attempted to make sense of the term “replacement of population” at SuomiAreena in Pori, Western Finland, on Tuesday.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, viewed that the debate surrounding the somewhat controversial term has been an attempt to prompt the populist right-wing party to attempt to define the population that is being replaced and, thereby, to define Finnishness.

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Mikael Pentikäinen, the CEO of the Finnish Federation of Enterprises, urges Finland to move towards a collective bargaining system that takes better into account the competitiveness and productivity growth of businesses. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH collective bargaining system is in need of a thorough overhaul to prevent a complete collapse, states Mikael Pentikäinen, the managing director of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises.

“The whole system is standing on feet of clay and moving towards a collapse unless it is reformed,” he wrote in a blog on Friday.

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A barley field in Espoo on 25 June 2019 (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

JARI LEPPÄ (Centre), the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, has reminded that the widespread adoption of vegan diet could also have a negative impact on the environment.

“The danger is that if we were to become purely vegan in this country, we’d end up with a monocultural agriculture. What does biodiversity say about monoculture? What kind of a source of biodiversity are our domesticated animals? Quite a big one,” he said at SuomiAreena in Pori on Wednesday.

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Finland must develop its understanding of threats in the digital world, also in terms of policy-making, underlines Jarno Limnéll, a professor of cybersecurity at Aalto University. (Handout – Nato Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence)

JARNO LIMNÉLL, a professor of cybersecurity at Aalto University, has urged the government to invest in developing its understanding of cybersecurity issues.

Limnéll on Saturday wrote in a blog for Iltalehti that, in the coming years, there will be a growing emphasis on the importance of understanding the political dimension of cybersecurity and making bold political decisions in Finland.

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Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference after their meeting in Berlin, Germany, on 10 July 2019. (Tobias Schwarz).

PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has reiterated the one-off nature of the decision to take in asylum seekers rescued from the Mediterranean by Italy and Malta.

The Finnish government announced last week that, as “a one-off show of support”, it is prepared to take in a maximum of five of the asylum seekers who were aboard a rescue vessel that arrived last week in Malta.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (right) and ex-Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen (left) talked about, among other things, the situation of Finnish women and children detained in camps in Syria at SuomiAreena in Pori on Wednesday. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

LEADING FINNISH POLITICIANS on Wednesday continued to debate the situation of the Finnish women and children detained in camps set up for families of the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

The Finnish government has stated that it is exploring ways to resolve the situation but not, at the moment, considering evacuating the women and children.

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Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has confirmed the government’s intention to abolish the activation model for unemployment security before receiving scientific evidence of its impact on the employment situation. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

THE ACTIVATION MODEL for unemployment security will be abolished regardless of the findings of a study of its employment impacts to be released in October by VATT Institute for Economic Research, states Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health.

“Preparations to abolish the activation model are underway. I personally think it’s realistic to do away with the activation model at the start of next year” she stated on YLE Aamu-TV on Monday.

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School children demonstrating in front of the Finnish Parliament last January to attract attention and demand action against climate change

A new paper published by researchers form the University of Turku in Finland suggests that even though observed changes in the climate are real, the effects of human activity on these changes are insignificant. The team suggests that the idea of man made climate change is a mere miscalculation or skewing the formulas by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Anne Berner (Centre), a former Minister of Transport and Communications, has voiced her dismay at suggestions that she had her own interests in mind when handling her ministerial duties. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

A COMPANY called Kiinteistö Oy Focus Gate Logistics engaged actively in land transactions in the vicinity of Helsinki Airport during the tenure of Anne Berner (Centre) as Minister of Transport and Communications, reports Kauppalehti.

The real estate company is owned by the family of Berner.

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The District Court of Oulu has sentenced all eight suspects in a widespread child sexual abuse case to prison sentences ranging from two to more than four years. (Timo Heikkala – Lehtikuva)

THE DISTRICT COURT of Oulu has delivered a verdict for all eight defendants in the child sexual abuse case that stirred up widespread outrage in Finland in December 2018.

The eight defendants were tried and sentenced separately on charges including assault, aggravated child sexual abuse and aggravated rape between May and July 2019, with the last two rulings coming in on Friday, 12 July.

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The Finnish government announced earlier this week its plan to introduce a small increase to pensions not exceeding 1,200–1,300 euros a month. (Trond H. Trosdahl – Lehtikuva)

THE NEWLY UNVEILED proposal to raise national and guarantee pensions would benefit a relatively small group of pensioners, says Jukka Appelqvist, an economist at Danske Bank.

“The government was originally talking about pensioners earning 1,400 euros a month, which would pretty much be ordinary pensioners. Pensioners living on guarantee pensions or primarily on national pensions are a completely different kind of group,” he highlighted on Thursday.

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