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Finland

  • “Life will go on after Brexit”: Interview with the British ambassador to Finland

    WITH BREXIT JUST AROUND THE CORNER and fears of a “no deal” cliff-edge mounting, UK and EU governments have been scrambling to put in place emergency measures that would protect citizens on both sides of the Channel.

    Last week the Finnish parliament announced it will be pushing through emergency legislation designed to protect the rights of UK nationals in the event of no deal. The legislation guarantees the residency, work, and study rights of all British nationals currently in Finland up until at least December 2020.

    We spoke to the UK’s ambassador to Finland, Tom Dodd, at the British Embassy to find out more about the state of bilateral negotiations between the two countries and what else Brits should be doing to prepare for Brexit. 

  • Authorities warn of flight disruption as air traffic controller strike announced for Friday

    FINLAND’S AIR NAVIGATION SERVICES (ANS) HAVE WARNED travellers to be aware of major disruptions to flights across Finland this Friday, following the announcement that air traffic controllers at most airports will be going on strike.

    The Finnish Air Traffic Controllers union (SLJY), released a statement last week warning of potential disruption after drawn-out negotiations with their employer, ANS, appeared to have stalled. 

  • Crimes against humanity, harassing journalists, and lawnmower racing - Finland in the World Press

     

    FINLAND MADE GLOBAL HEADLINES THIS WEEKfollowing the release of a report from the National Archives that concluded it was “highly likely” that Finnish volunteers participated in the large-scale killing of Jews during the Holocaust. National newspapers and public figures in the US, UK, and Israel commented on the revelations that Finnish volunteers working for the Nazi SS participated in mass murder, while praising the decision of the National Archives to publish the findings.

  • EU Poll Reveals Finns Are Almost Equally as Concerned About Emigration as Immigration 

    A NEW POLL commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has revealed that Finland is just as concerned about people leaving the country as they are with people entering it.  

    The poll measured the opinions of citizens in 14 European countries, asking them whether they were more concerned about rising immigration or rising emigration.  

  • Figures for 2018 reveal rate of road deaths in Finland remains among highest in Northern Europe

    STATISTIC RELEASED BY FICORA, A BRANCH OF THE MINISTRY FOR TRANSPORT, reveal that the number of road deaths in Finland remains amongst the highest of any Northern European country.

    The number of road traffic accidents estimated to have occurred in 2018 has been set at around 230-240, although the precise figure is yet to be released. This is a decrease on the previous year, although still far short of the Finnish government’s target of 136 road deaths per year. 

  • Finland tops the 2019 ‘Good Country Index’ but remains one of the worst countries for making friends

    THE FOURTH ANNUAL ‘GOOD COUNTRY INDEX’has placed Finland as the number one country in the world for making “a positive contribution to humanity”, based on a number of metrics such as prosperity, scientific achievement, and contributions to global stability.

    The country saw off close competition from Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark for the top spot, emerging as a clear winner in categories such as press freedom, foreign direct investment (FDI) abroad, and cybersecurity. Finland’s foreign minister, Timo Soini, will be collecting an award during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week. 

  • Finland’s most famous icebreaker deployed on first mission of the winter

    One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row.

    Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia.

  • Finnair to significantly expand Helsinki to London service in 2019

    FINLAND’S NATIONAL CARRIER, FINNAIR, HAS ANNOUNCEDthat their popular service running between Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and London-Heathrow Airport will be expanded in 2019, allowing for greater travel capacity between the two cities.

    The flight is currently one of the busiest routes operated by Finnair, with business travellers and tourists making up the vast majority of traffic between London and Helsinki. Finnair has announced the changes to the service will allow for a 21% increase in passenger traffic over the summer season.

  • Finnish households encouraged to recycle Christmas food waste in ‘Fat to Fuel’ campaign

    THE OIL REFINERY COMPANY NESTEhas launched a campaign to encourage Finns to donate Christmas food waste to recycling points across the country so that it may be used as biofuel.

    The company’s nationwide ‘From Fat to Fuel’ initiative asks that Finnish households take the leftover fat from their Christmas ham, which can often constitute up to 20% of the ham and donate it to one of the 230 collection points that have been set up across the country. 

  • Finnish passports and IDs are now made by a scandal-ridden weapons manufacturer

    LAST YEAR, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION approved the €4.8 billion acquisition of the digital security company Gemalto, which is responsible for manufacturing Finnish passports and IDs, by French aerospace and defense group Thales. 

    Over the past two decades, Thales has repeatedly caught media attention for its purported illicit activities, including bribes to build warships for the Taiwanese government and collusion with former South African president Jacob Zuma over a multibillion-dollar arms deal. 

  • Finnish prime minister uses New Year’s Message to condemn hate speech

    THE PRIME MINISTER OF FINLAND, Juha Sipilä, has used his annual New Year speechto rail against hate speech and anti-immigrant rhetoric, particularly in relation to recent revelations of sex crimes allegedly committed by migrants in Oulu.

    Finland was rocked by the revelations earlier this month that 10 people of foreign backgrounds had been arrested for rape and sexual assault of several underage girls in Oulu. 

  • Finnish tourists missing following avalanche in Arctic Norway

    FOUR TOURISTS FROM SWEDEN AND FINLANDhave been reported missing amid fears they have been swept away by an avalanche in the Troms region of Norway.

    The tour group is made up of three Finns and a Swedish person, who were reported to Troms police as missing at 15:00GMT yesterday afternoon.

  • Helsinki ranked as 5th most sustainable tourist destination on Earth

    THE GLOBAL DESTINATION SUSTAINABILITY INDEX, which ranks hundreds of cities around the world based on their environmental and social sustainability, has placed Helsinki in joint-fifth place with the Swedish city of Uppsala in their rankings for 2019.

    The index was first launched last year with the aim of highlighting how urban areas can continue to attract business and tourists without compromising on environmental health and social stability. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top rankings are dominated by Nordic cities, although Glasgow in Scotland and Melbourne in Australia also broke into the top ten. 

  • Meteorological Institute confirms 2018 was hottest year in Finland’s history

    THE FINNISH METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE HAS CONFIRMEDthat 2018 was the hottest year in Finland since records began over 150 years ago, fuelling further concerns over the pace of climate change.

    In a bulletin released by the Institute this morning, they reveal that overall, 2018 was a full 2 degrees warmer than usual as an average. Meanwhile, the peak temperature of the year, which was recorded as 33.7 degrees Celsius in Vaasa on 18 June, was one of the highest ever reached.

  • Missing migrants, rising rents in Helsinki, and genderless clothes - Finland in the World Press

    THIS WEEK IT WAS REVEALEDthat the scale of undocumented refugees and asylum seekers in Finland is much greater than anyone anticipated. Recent reports have shown that as many as half of the 30,000 asylum seekers that entered Finland at the height of the refugee crisis may have “slipped underground”, with authorities having little to no details on their whereabouts or wellbeing.

    This has been attributed to Finland’s notoriously strict laws on seeking asylum and gaining legal residency in the country.

  • Nordea’s chief economist warns of dismal GDP growth in 2019

    THE HEAD ECONOMIST FOR NORDEA, AKI KANGASHARJU,has warned of poor growth prospects for Finland in 2019, warning that other economists have gotten their predictions wrong.

    While earlier growth predictions for the Finnish economy have been more upbeat, coming in at close to 3%, Kangasharju said in an interview with YLE Radio 1 this morning that “economists are always late” when it comes to spotting slowdowns.

  • President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö’s New Year’s Speech on 1 January 2019

    My fellow citizens,

    Late this autumn, the memorial flame was burning beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. A hundred years had passed since the end of World War I. World leaders joined in silence to commemorate the making of peace that ended a European war.

    Less than a month later, in the vicinity of the Arc de Triomphe, cars were burning. At the same time, yellow-vested people were on the streets, telling that things were not right for them. Under the Arc de Triomphe, the ostensible unanimity and reconciliation with the past changed into a fierce battle over the life today.

  • Revealed: Secretive UAE cybersecurity firm with a history of spying on dissidents is operating in Finland

    DARK MATTER, A SECRETIVE CYBERSECURITY COMPANYwith links to the government of the United Arab Emirates, has been revealed to have been operating across Finland since at least 2014.

    According to a report in Helsingin Sanomat the company has been operating under the title Zeline 1, which describes itself as “a wholly owned subsidiary of Dark Matter” in its latest financial statements. Information on the Finnish Trade Register shows that Dark Matter has around twenty employees in Finland and has an active presence in Oulu and Tampere.

  • Scandinavia Won’t Be Russia’s Next Target

    Mikheil Saakashvili’s country was a victim of Putin’s aggression. Finland and Sweden won’t be.

    In a recent Foreign Policyarticle, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili argued that “Russia’s most likely target in the near future is either Finland or Sweden.” As Saakashvili explains, “by attacking a non-NATO country, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin does not risk a proportional response in accordance with Article 5. But by targeting a European country, he can expect to reap the rewards of public approval at home from voters who are desperate for a victory.”

  • Setback for nuclear industry as Hanhikivi Power Plant is delayed by a further four years

    THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RUSSIAN-FINNISH NUCLEAR POWER PLANTin Pyhäjoki has suffered yet another delay, as It was announced last night that the project would be delayed by a further four years.

    The Hanhikivi 1 plant, a project jointly-owned by a consortium of Finnish energy operators and the Russian state energy giant Rosatom, was first approved for construction by the Finnish parliament back in 2010. 

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