The four-and-a-half-year-old male panda, Pyry, did not lose his appetite on the 6,500-kilometre flight from China to Finland but munched on a bamboo stem upon his arrival at Helsinki Airport on Thursday, 18 January, 2018.
The four-and-a-half-year-old male panda, Pyry, did not lose his appetite on the 6,500-kilometre flight from China to Finland but munched on a bamboo stem upon his arrival at Helsinki Airport on Thursday, 18 January, 2018.

 

A pair of giant pandas received a snowy but warm welcome in Finland on Thursday.

The four-and-a-half-year-old male panda, Hua Bao, and three-and-a-half-year-old female panda, Jin Baobao, were a gift from China for the centenary of the independence of Finland. The vulnerable animals arrived in the country for a 15-year research project agreed upon by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki in April, 2017.

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Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has reminded that changes in consumption patterns may necessitate quick changes to how motor vehicles are taxed in Finland.
Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has reminded that changes in consumption patterns may necessitate quick changes to how motor vehicles are taxed in Finland.

 

Advances made in the automotive industry will create considerable pressures to overhaul car taxes in Finland, writes Kauppalehti.

Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, estimates that it is unlikely that the taxes will be revised before the next parliamentary elections but reminds that changes in consumption patterns can occur quickly.

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The possible strike will not affect the operations of the Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki.
The possible strike will not affect the operations of the Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki.

 

The Finnish Seafarers’ Union (SMU) and Transport Workers’ Union (AKT) have issued a strike warning in a bid to add a sense of urgency to their collective bargaining negotiations with Avaintyönantajat Ry (Avainta), a nationwide association of private sector employers.

The strike would disrupt the operations of five critical harbours along the western coast of Finland – Kokkola, Naantali, Oulu, Rauma and Turku – for an unspecified time period as of 6am on 29 January.

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Managerial and professional staff in the paper industry were planning on going on a week-long strike as of Wednesday, 17 January, 2018. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)
Managerial and professional staff in the paper industry were planning on going on a week-long strike as of Wednesday, 17 January, 2018. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

 

Finnish Forest Industries and Trade Union Pro have accepted a settlement proposal to end a labour dispute that was to disrupt the operations of several paper industry companies for a week as of Wednesday, 17 January.

The settlement proposal was drafted by National Conciliator Minna Helle.

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Restaurant Roster in Helsinki Offers Quality Food Outside the Mainstream 

The idea behind Roster, a bar and restaurant in the heart of Helsinki (right next to Helsinki’s oldest wooden house), was built on Paul Hickman and Kari Aihinen’s vision of adding something new to Helsinki’s restaurant scene. The central concept is simple: preparing and serving quality food using the best ingredients, superb service and great ambience. The name Roster refers to the vision of building a team of pros as well as to the selection of food, wine and drinks that the Roster team would like you to eat and drink with them.

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Marcus Wallenberg, the chairman of the board at Saab, spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Wednesday, 17 January, 2018. The Swedish defence company announced it will expand its operations in Finland.
Marcus Wallenberg, the chairman of the board at Saab, spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Wednesday, 17 January, 2018. The Swedish defence company announced it will expand its operations in Finland.

 

Saab on Wednesday announced it has established a new development centre in Tampere, Finland, reports Talouselämä.

The Swedish defence and security company said it will invest roughly 50–70 million euros in developing the centre over the next five years and ultimately recruit roughly 100 employees to supplement the core group of 12 staff already employed at the centre.

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Passengers in a full metro car in Nittykumpu, Espoo, on 9 January, 2018. (Panu Tuunala – Lehtikuva)
Passengers in a full metro car in Nittykumpu, Espoo, on 9 January, 2018. (Panu Tuunala – Lehtikuva)

 

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), and the Technical and Environment Services of Espoo have been asked to draft measures to address the problems associated with feeder services to the eight new stations added to Helsinki Metro in November.

Jaana Jalonen (NCP), a councillor for the City of Espoo, reveals that answers are expected as soon as next week.

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Helsinki has pledged to increase access to free contraception for its under 25-year-old residents.
Helsinki has pledged to increase access to free contraception for its under 25-year-old residents.

 

The Helsinki City Council on Thursday voted in favour of a proposal to expand a free contraception programme for under 25-year-old residents after a lengthy debate.

The proposal will provide young people free access to intrauterine devices and birth control implants, as well as lengthen the eligibility period for free contraceptive pills and intravaginal rings from three to twelve months. Helsinki also pledged to increase the distribution of free condoms and make sexual health counselling more widely available.

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Finland can ill-afford to drag its feet on the unemployment security reform, says Martti Hetemäki, the permanent state secretary at the Ministry of Finance. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Finland can ill-afford to drag its feet on the unemployment security reform, says Martti Hetemäki, the permanent state secretary at the Ministry of Finance. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Misunderstandings about the newly adopted activation model for unemployment security have drawn attention away from the main issue at hand, laments Martti Hetemäki, the permanent state secretary at the Ministry of Finance.

He reminds in a column that unless the average duration of unemployment is reduced from the current level of over 52 weeks, unemployment will only decrease if its risk is successfully lowered. The risk, however, has grown as a result of globalisation and advances in automation technology.

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Jarkko Eloranta, the chairperson of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), has voiced his disapproval of the so-called activation model for unemployment security. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Jarkko Eloranta, the chairperson of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), has voiced his disapproval of the so-called activation model for unemployment security. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) has announced its plans to organise a strike in protest of the adoption of the much-criticised activation model for unemployment security on Friday, 2 February.

“The government must backtrack on the activation model,” it demanded on Monday.

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Paavo Väyrynen (left) and Sauli Niinistö (right) took part in a presidential election debate organised in Oulu on 10 January, 2018.
Paavo Väyrynen (left) and Sauli Niinistö (right) took part in a presidential election debate organised in Oulu on 10 January, 2018.

 

President Sauli Niinistö has seen a drop of such magnitude in support that it is no longer implausible that a second round of voting will be required in the looming presidential elections, suggests an opinion poll commissioned by Alma Media.

A second round of voting will be required only if none of the eight candidates vying for the presidency receives more than half of the vote.

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Pedestrians waited for the traffic lights to change at the corner of Mannerheimintie and Kaivokatu in Helsinki on 29 December, 2017. Helsinki is reportedly one of several municipalities that consider a small modular reactor a way to strive towards emissions-free co-generation of heat and energy. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Pedestrians waited for the traffic lights to change at the corner of Mannerheimintie and Kaivokatu in Helsinki on 29 December, 2017. Helsinki is reportedly one of several municipalities that consider a small modular reactor a way to strive towards emissions-free co-generation of heat and energy. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

Small modular reactors are stirring up interest among municipalities in Finland, according to Tekniikka & Talous.

The innovation and technology-oriented weekly has revealed that the list of municipalities that are exploring the possibility of commissioning a small modular reactor includes Espoo, Helsinki, Kirkkonummi and Nurmijärvi.

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Passengers lined up for a security check at Helsinki Airport on 3 March, 2017. Nearly 19 million passengers passed through the airport during the course of last year. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)
Passengers lined up for a security check at Helsinki Airport on 3 March, 2017. Nearly 19 million passengers passed through the airport during the course of last year. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Finnish airports recorded an increase of over nine per cent in passenger traffic to almost 23 million passengers in 2017.

Finavia, the state-owned operator of the national network of airports, estimates in a press release that the growth is a consequence of the successful year of Finnair, the growing appeal of Finland, and the popularity of Helsinki Airport as a transit point for air traffic between Asia and Europe.

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