Why has Finland been so successful in Formula One? Following Valtteri Bottas’ triumph in Sochi, the BBC examined a history of Finnish success in motorsport.

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Finland’s trial of a basic monthly income was discussed in The Independent this week, with the British newspaper reporting that the policy leads to a reduction in stress levels.

Immigration and Finland was another big theme. While Finland was one of two EU countries to fulfil its pledge in relocating migrants over the last two years, the country’s Finance Minister has been quoted by Reuters as saying that less welcoming countries shouldn't receive the same amount of funds from the EU.

In other news, plans for a Finnish grand mosque has led to mixed opinions and the BBC takes a look at Finland’s history of Formula One success.

Finland's universal basic income reduces stress levels
The Independent

“Citizens receiving a basic monthly income as part of a radical Finnish pilot scheme have seen a reduction in their stress levels, an official leading the trial has said.

The first of its kind in Europe, the scheme sees 2,000 people receive 560 euros (£473) every month for two years. Recipients do not have to report whether they are seeking employment or how they are spending the money, which is deducted from any benefits they are already receiving.

Marjukka Turunen, head of KELA, the legal unit at Finland's social insurance agency, said as well as cutting bureaucracy, reducing costs and tackling poverty, the scheme was having an indirectly positive effect on people's mental health.

“There was this one woman who said: ‘I was afraid every time the phone would ring, that unemployment services are calling to offer me a job,’” Ms Turunen told US-based broadcaster Kera News.”

Original article was published by on 08/05/2017 and can be found here.

Finland is leading the way in migrant relocation
EUobserver

“Over the last two years, Finland has used the EU relocation scheme to provide shelter to a large number of vulnerable children.

Only two countries – Finland and Malta – are set to fulfil their initial pledges before the scheme, which aimed to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece to other EU member states, closes in September.

According to European Commission figures from 5 May, Finland has already relocated 1,433 out of 2,078 people, fulfilling 69 percent of its quota.

"For the remainder of our allocation, we pledge to take 100 people from Greece and 50 from Italy every month and we hope to receive our full allocation by the due date of 26 September," said Monna Airiainen, relocation officer at the Finnish immigration service.”

Original article was published by on 10/05/2017 and can be found here.

Countries should receive less EU funds if they are unwilling to accept migrants, says Finnish Finance Minister
Reuters

“The European Union should attach more conditions to development funds earmarked for some member states in its next budget framework, Finland's finance minister said on Thursday, saying they should do more to share the cost of taking in migrants.

Eastern EU countries that are among the main beneficiaries of development funds, such as Poland and Hungary, have refused to accept migrants allocated to them under an EU quota scheme meant to handle a migrant influx into Europe since 2015.

"Supporting new and developing member states is an important part of the European project," Petteri Orpo told Reuters.

"But when we look forward, and at the migrant crisis, we just cannot stand by when payments from the net contributors are welcomed, but burden sharing is not."”

Original article was published by on 11/05/2017 and can be found here.

Plans for a grand mosque cause friction
Middle East Eye

“It is Friday in a suburb of Helsinki and Pia Jardi makes her way down a narrow staircase to sit on the worn carpet of a small, stuffy room.

Today she is one of the lucky ones. Others who cannot fit into this small "cellar mosque" will have to pray out in the snow.

As a Muslim she feels welcome here, but as a Finn she does not. The imam delivers his sermon in Somali, a language she cannot understand. She says her prayers, then leaves.

These scenes could be a thing of the past if Jardi, 51, has her way. She is leading a campaign to build Helsinki's first grand mosque.”

Original article was published by on 02/05/2017 and can be found here.

What’s the secret behind Finland’s Formula One success?
BBC

“An interesting bunch, the Finns. For starters, the Finnish word for computer translates as "knowledge machine", while a Finn in a bad mood would be moping around like "a bear shot in the backside".

Perhaps most pleasingly of all, a passing Finn wondering after your sanity might question whether you are in possession of "all the Moomins in the valley".

Clearly, the Finns have much they can teach us. It is certainly the case so far as motorsport goes, particularly Formula 1.

The Nordic country may have a population of about five and a half million people, but that has not stopped them producing three world champions and - following Valtteri Bottas' maiden win at the Russian Grand Prix on 30 April - no fewer than five race winners.”

Original article was published by on 07/05/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson – HT

Photo: Lehtikuva / AFP / Alexander Nemenov

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