Three women lost their lives in a shooting that took place on a pedestrian street in Imatra on 3 December, 2016.
Three women lost their lives in a shooting that took place on a pedestrian street in Imatra on 3 December, 2016.

Law enforcement officers have wrapped up the pre-trial investigation into a shooting that left three women dead in Imatra on 3 December.

The South-eastern Finland Police Department revealed in a press release yesterday that the 23-year-old suspect has confessed in interrogations to shooting the three women as they were stepping out of a restaurant onto a pedestrian street at approximately midnight.

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The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has increased tensions on the labour market by announcing its decision to no longer take part in central-level bargaining.
The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has increased tensions on the labour market by announcing it will no longer take part in central-level bargaining.

Harri Melin, a professor of sociology at the University of Tampere, has warned that significant wage hikes are likely to be required to appease trade unions in the sector-specific bargaining negotiations scheduled for next autumn.

The Confederation of Finnish Industries’ (EK) recent unilateral decision to no longer pursue central-level agreements has put trade unions on alert, he explains.

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Lauri Lyly (left), the president of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), and Sture Fjäder, the chairperson of the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff (Akava), held a joint press conference in Helsinki on 28 February, 2016.
Lauri Lyly (left), the president of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), and Sture Fjäder, the chairperson of the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff (Akava), held a joint press conference in Helsinki on 28 February, 2016.

The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has drawn the ire of a number of trade unions by announcing its decision to no longer pursue central-level bargaining agreements.

The Finnish Metalworkers’ Union (Metalliliitto) on Friday announced that it will not begin negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements until all of the agreements within its purview have been complemented with the provisions of the central-level agreements terminated by EK.

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The Finnish Parliament on Friday turned down a citizens’ initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.
The Finnish Parliament on Friday turned down a citizens’ initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.

The Finnish Parliament has turned down a citizens’ initiative designed to negate the upcoming legislative amendment extending marriage rights to same-sex couples by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.

Same-sex couples will thus be allowed to marry in Finland as of 1 March, 2017.

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“The labour markets need professionals with the readiness to constantly learn new skills, develop along with the labour markets and contribute to developing them,” says Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture.
“The labour markets need professionals with the readiness to constantly learn new skills, develop along with the labour markets and contribute to developing them,” says Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture.

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture, signed on Friday a decree to introduce a new qualification structure for vocational education and training in Finland, which will reduce the number of vocational qualifications from 351 to 164.

The objective of the overhaul is to improve the professional skills of graduates and enable them to respond more flexibly to the ever-changing demands of working life.

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Traffic on Tuusulanväylä in Helsinki on 17 February, 2017.
Traffic on Tuusulanväylä in Helsinki on 17 February, 2017.

Fitch Ratings has called attention to the mounting debt burden of households in Finland.

The credit rating agency reminds in its latest country review that the debt-to-income ratio of households rose to 125 per cent in the second quarter of last year – a level that represents a 20 percentage point increase from ten years ago despite remaining below the levels in other Nordics.

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Finland in the World Press: 11-17 February

Finland blocks foreign property deals due to invasion threat

The Finnish government plans to prevent international buyers from purchasing real estate near military sites. This comes in response to a report published last year that revealed concerns in Helsinki about the acquisition of houses near strategic locations.

A report by intelligence agency Supo warned of the risk of a foreign state “taking advantage of a crisis situation”. It goes on to state that real estate constructions could be used to “close transport routes and accommodate troops unchecked, for example”.

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Candles and flowers at the site of a collision that claimed the lives of two 17-year-olds in Sastamala on Saturday.
Candles and flowers at the site of a collision that claimed the lives of two 17-year-olds in Sastamala on Saturday.

A 35-year-old man held on suspicion of two manslaughters has revealed in interrogations that he sought to take his own life by crashing head-on into a vehicle on the opposite side of the road in Sastamala on Saturday.

“He says he didn’t realise that the oncoming vehicle was a light four-wheeled vehicle but [believed it to be] a larger vehicle,” a police spokesperson states in a press release published on Monday.

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Two 17-year-olds lost their lives in a head-on collision on the border between Nokia and Sastamala on 18 February, 2017.
Two 17-year-olds lost their lives in a head-on collision on the border between Nokia and Sastamala on 18 February, 2017.

A criminal investigation has been opened into the road traffic accident that claimed the lives of two teenagers on the border between Nokia and Sastamala on Saturday.

The Central Finland Police Department announced yesterday that the 35-year-old man whose multi-purpose vehicle collided head-on with the light four-wheeled vehicle driven by one of the 17-year-old victims is suspected of two manslaughters, driving while seriously intoxicated and causing a serious traffic hazard.

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Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (left), Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö and the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen spoke to the press as the Government unveiled its first-ever defence policy report on 16 February, 2017.
Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (left), Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö and the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen spoke to the press as the Government unveiled its first-ever defence policy report on 16 February, 2017.

The Government is prepared to allocate an additional 55 million euros a year to improving the capabilities of the Finnish Defence Forces as of the beginning of 2018.

The Government points out in its defence policy report that the early-warning period for military conflicts has become shorter and the threshold for resorting to military force lower. The Baltic Sea Region, it adds, has witnessed an increase in both military activity and tensions, thus affecting the military operating environment of Finland.

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