The world is rapidly moving towards digitalisation and automation in all areas of society. Yet some of the most digitally advanced economies in the world are struggling to sustain digital growth and innovation – Finland being one of them. This years’ Digital Evolution Index places Finland in the Stall Out Zone; a category for digitally advanced countries that have reached so-called “digital plateaus” of slowing momentum in terms of digital growth.
Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, says he disagrees with the assessment that more immigrants are needed to supplement the workforce in Greater Helsinki.
“It is commonly known what kind of negative effects immigrants from developing countries have had on security and the economy in Stockholm and many other cities in Europe,” he argued in a press release from the Finns Party on Tuesday.
Fitch has affirmed its AA+ credit rating with stable outlook for Finland.
The Finnish economy will expand by 2.3 per cent in 2017, according to a press release from the credit rating agency. The growth rate, however, will decrease to 1.7 per cent in 2018 and to 1.4 per cent in 2019 due to a projected slowdown in private consumption.
The Locomotive Drivers’ Union of Finland (VML) has announced it will stage a strike in protest of the ownership steering policy of the government.
The strike is set to halt all local, freight and long-distance trains operated by VR and all local trains operated by the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) between 6pm on Monday, 14 August, and 23.59pm on Tuesday, 15 August.
The Centre Party is in favour of continuing levying the so-called solidarity tax on individuals with annual earnings exceeding 72,300 euros for another two years.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) clarified the party’s position on the issue during the summer meeting of the party leadership in Espoo on Tuesday, according to reports by several media outlets in Finland.
Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has expressed her confidence that foreign railway companies will be interested in entering the passenger rail market in Finland.
“I expect there to be global interest in regards to the segment of [Helsinki Region Transport] HSL and the local services in Southern Finland,” she stated to Kauppalehti on Saturday.
Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has revealed that raising the employment rate remains a top priority for the government as it has not improved as much as the government would have wanted.
Finland’s employment rate is currently projected to have crept up to 70.2 per cent by the time the government leaves office in 2019.
Sampo Terho (NA), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has revisited his decision to leave the Finns Party to co-found the New Alternative Parliamentary Group.
“The choice was difficult on an emotional level but absolutely the right one rationally. We’ve got a long road ahead of us – without party subsidies, without even a party, without an organisation on the ground,” he stated in a meeting of the parliamentary group in Tapiola, Espoo, on Monday.
Apple Pay will be launched in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates by the end of this year, Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri revealed on Tuesday last week. The announcement was made in passing between reports on the company’s third quarter financial results. Specific dates for release and names of cooperating banks are yet to be released.
The Finnish government has decided to open rail passenger services to competition in stages to be completed by 2026.
Railway companies will not be granted open access to the passenger rail market, however, but will have to submit tenders for concession agreements designed in a way that guarantees the availability of passenger rail services in all parts of Finland.
Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, has drawn attention to the importance of promoting internationalisation and attracting more immigrants to work in the capital region.
Vapaavuori estimated in an interview with Talouselämä on Monday that the greatest obstacles to the growth of the region are insufficient housing production, the high cost of housing and too low a degree of internationalisation.
Bengt Holmström, a Finnish-born professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has voiced his concern about future generations in Finland.
“It was a big shock to me to hear in June that Finland is actually heading in a very bad direction in the field of high education,” he stated in a panel discussion at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on Thursday, urging policy makers to take immediate action to restore the number of highly educated people.
Simon Elo, the chairperson of the New Alternative, admits that the newly founded parliamentary group must step up its efforts if it is to meet the objective of collecting the 5,000 support statements required to enter a new party into the party register by the end of September.
“Our goal is to register the party during the course of September. That’s still our goal,” he asserted on Tuesday.