IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. This week the UN’s annual World Happiness Report revealed that Finland has retained its top position as the “world’s happiest country” for the second year running, prompting several articles and opinion pieces about what Finland does differently. The US-based hipster bible Vice took a slightly different approach, uploading a YouTube video questioning whether Finns are actually happy in any emotional sense.
THE COUNTIES’ SERVICE CENTRE for Facilities and Real Estate Management, a service provider established in preparation of the recently scrapped social, health care and regional government reform, has announced it will begin to wind down its operations.
The service centre was established to manage the real estate needs of counties, ranging from hospitals and health care centres to offices and rescue stations.
ROUGHLY A THIRD of requests to deport a foreign citizen on grounds of a sex crime conviction were rejected in Finland in 2018, according to MOT, a team of investigative journalists at YLE.
MOT on Monday reported that 84 of the 152 foreign citizens who were the subject of a criminal deportation request were ordered to be removed from the country by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). The remaining 64 foreign citizens, on the other hand, were allowed to stay in the country on a temporary basis.
RAISING THE EMPLOYMENT RATE has become a backstop for political parties that is used to draw funds for a wide variety of campaign promises, views Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance.
Andersson told Uusi Suomi on Monday that the opposition party is prepared to fund its campaign promises by adopting a wealth tax and increasing the progression of income tax rates.
THE NATIONAL COALITION is not intent on budging on its objective of increase local bargaining by expanding the role of non-unionised workplace representatives in spite of the looming parliamentary elections.
Trade unions have expressed their firm opposition to the idea, as it would strip unionised shop stewards of their exclusive right to represent employees in bargaining negotiations.
THE GREEN LEAGUE has moved to within touching distance of the Centre Party, indicates an opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.
The newspaper reported yesterday that popular support for the opposition party crept up by 0.4 percentage points to 14.0 per cent, whereas that for the ruling party dropped by 0.4 percentage points to 14.3 per cent between February and March.
AN EMERGENCY MEETING on Finns was held recently in Tallinn, Estonia, according to Kauppalehti.
The Finnish business-oriented newspaper reports that the meeting was attended by practically all key organisations involved in tourism marketing in Estonia, including the Estonian Tourism Board, Estonian Association of Travel Agencies, Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association, and the Port of Tallinn.
THE BENEFITS of the recent taxi industry liberalisation have been at best modest for both consumers and taxi companies, indicates a survey by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom).
Traficom on Thursday reported that almost 90 per cent of consumers indicated that they are satisfied and only four per cent that they are dissatisfied with the overall quality of taxi services in Finland.
THE YOUNG ADULTS who have entered working life over the past couple of decades may have to deal with a hefty increase in earnings-related pension contributions and small pensions if the population continues to age and birth rate plummet in Finland.
This is the main takeaway from a new projection on the development of statutory pensions in 2019–2085 by the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK).
STORA ENSO on Monday announced it will launch consultative negotiations with the staff of its paper mill in Oulu, Finland.
The Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer said it has devised a plan to close a paper machine and sheeting plant in order to convert the paper mill into packaging board production, estimating that the closures could result in the termination of up to 400 jobs.
The Finnish government cautiously welcomed the recent news that the economy is finally in full recovery mode. Employment levels are close to record heights, wage growth is outstripping inflation, and job creation is accelerating at a pace not seen since before the financial crash. While storm clouds still remain and growth is still faltering, there is some space for optimism.
THE READINESS of Finnish car owners to give up their cars has come as a surprise to Johanna Särkijärvi, the head of climate and environmental research at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Särkijärvi on Monday highlighted that the most recent climate barometer indicates that almost a fifth of car owners intend to give up their car and transition to using sustainable mobility services over the coming five years.
European Healthtech Investment Forum was held for the third time in Helsinki, Finland on 13-14-March 2019. The forum which was organised by Techtour in collaboration with Business Finland in The Finlandia Hall brought together dozens of healthtech startups and investors for a two days compilation of presentations, competition and one-to-one meetings. Both startups and investors came from all around the world.
The development of the original, ancient Sami huts project in the Laplandiya part of Russia was called “In the land of Standing Stones”. Even though the majority of Lapland is primarily Finnish territory, there are northern parts of Russia that encompass it too. The excursions in the Russian Lapland feature interesting facts about the unique pattern of the birches and different shapes of Christmas trees.
ALKO on Tuesday announced it sold a total of 85.3 million litres of alcoholic beverages in 2018, signalling a drop of 8.5 per cent from the previous year.
The Finnish wholly state-owned alcohol retailer said last year its net sales decreased by roughly 20 million euros to 1,155 million euros and net sales without alcohol tax by roughly 30 million euros to 565 million euros.
ANTTI RINNE, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, has come under criticism from the heads of employer organisations for calling for the re-instatement of the national incomes policy agreements, or so-called tupo agreements.
Rinne on Sunday urged the Confederation of Finnish Industries to re-incorporate centralised bargaining into its toolkit.