Uutela outdoor recreational area in Helsinki. Photo: Jan Salonen

Helsinki's policies that steer the management of urban forests will be updated over the course of this year. The new policies will comply with the City Strategy and its goals on maintaining natural environments. Residents and stakeholders will be invited to discussion events in the autumn.

The City of Helsinki has initiated work to update its policies for managing natural areas. The existing Nature Maintenance Policy is from 2011.

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The Finnish Immigration Service is preparing to set up new reception centres due to the increased need to provide accommodation for people fleeing Ukraine.

In addition to reception centres, the Finnish Immigration Service can set up service points for private accommodation, through which those seeking asylum or temporary protection who have arranged accommodation themselves can access the reception services, such as healthcare and social services and the reception allowance.

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Homes in Helsinki may be cooled and heated using seawater starting in 2029, with Helen, the energy utility of the Finnish capital, moving forward with a project to build a 400-million-euro seawater tunnel to its combined heat and power plant in Salmisaari. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

HELEN, the energy utility of the City of Helsinki, has taken a step forward in its project to build a 400-million-euro tunnel system that enables the utilisation of seawater in district heat production.

Helen on Wednesday announced Finland’s YIT and Spain’s Acciona as its alliance partners for the project, saying the trio will over the next two years devise a plan for transferring heat from seawater to heat pumps to be installed at its plant in Salmisaari, a sector of the quarter of Ruoholahti.

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People lined up for refreshments at the Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki on Monday, 27 June 2022. The year’s temperature record was broken half a degree in Pori on Tuesday, as the mercury climbed to 32.9°C. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE BLOCKING HIGH that has sent temperatures soaring in recent days is likely to remain stationary until next weekend.

With the block set to remain over Finland until Sunday, the weather is forecast to stay hot and bright this week, Antti Kokko, a meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), stated to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

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Riikka Purra (PS), the chairperson of the Administration Committee, lauded the report as a “major win” for the security of Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE of the Finnish Parliament finalised its report on amending the border guard act late on Thursday, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Although the meeting went on effectively for the entire day due to long-standing differences between parties on whether or not it should be possible to shut down the eastern border in the event of a hybrid campaign, the report was ultimately approved unanimously.

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A prospective buyer examined an empty flat in Helsinki in June 2015. (Jarmo Stenmark – Lehtikuva)

THE BOARD of the Financial Supervisory Authority in Finland (Fiva) is instructing lenders to grant housing loans primarily to applicants whose overall debt-servicing costs are assessed to remain below 60 per cent of their net income under stress conditions.

The stressed debt-service-to-income ratio should be calculated by taking into account the entire debt burden of the borrower, including loans, charges for capital expenses and stressed servicing costs.

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Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson watched as Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (front left), Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde signed a trilateral memorandum that clears the way for the Finnish and Swedish bids to join Nato. (Handout / Nato)

FINLAND, Sweden and Turkey resolved their differences over the Finnish and Swedish bids to join Nato after a nearly four-hour meeting held in conjunction with the defence alliance’s highly anticipated summit in Madrid, Spain.

Turkey has thereby pledged to give its backing at the summit to inviting the two countries to become members of Nato, according to a memorandum signed by the countries’ foreign ministers.

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President Sauli Niinistö talked to the press in Helsinki on 27 June 2022. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRESIDENT Sauli Niinistö told Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday that it was clear from the start that the discussions between Finland, Sweden and Turkey would not and should not extend beyond the question of whether Turkey will support inviting Finland and Sweden to join Nato.

“This whole document was designed for that purpose. The document’s 10th article states that the invitation would be supported and the accession protocol would be signed,” he explained.

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Finns are clearly much more worried about the state of nature on the global scale than about the state of Finnish nature. A barometer on the connection to nature was conducted to find out about our relationship with nature and with preserving biodiversity, and how the responsibilities should be divided between the different stakeholders.

56% of the respondents are worried or very worried about the state of Finnish nature, while 80% are worried or very worried about the state of the world's nature.

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Ole Jensen | Credit: Getty Images

Finnish Customs has conducted a preliminary investigation into a criminal case involving suspected smuggling of animal-based fodder raw material from Denmark to Finland. The fodder that was delivered to fur farms may have been contaminated by the coronavirus or some other animal pathogens. According to the Finnish Food Authority, the incident has posed a serious risk of animal diseases spreading in Finland. Customs and the Food Authority organised a briefing on the case in Kokkola today on 28 June 2022.

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The Valimaa border station in Vironlahti. LEHTIKUVA

The EU has imposed extensive sanctions on Russia due to the attack on Ukraine. The sanctions also apply to many consumer products. For example, you are not allowed to bring in extra fuel from Russia to Finland. Persons arriving in Finland by road from Russia and persons travelling to Russia should check the restrictions and prohibitions before they travel.

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A new package of measures being introduced is intended to improve the labour market situation of persons aged 55 or over. They include a restructuring protection allowance and voluntary training. For employers, this means paying a new restructuring protection fee. Also, the age limit for extended unemployment benefits will be raised for those born in 1963 or 1964, and those born in 1965 or later will not be eligible at all. With the abolishment of extended unemployment benefits, the liability component payable by employers will be discontinued as well.

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Mia Laiho (NCP) attended a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 22 June 2022. She believes there is readiness to move forward quickly with, for example, the proposal to do away with the stipulation that referrals from two physicians are required to access abortion services. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

A CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE to revise the act on the interruption of pregnancy is moving forward in the Finnish Parliament, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Markus Lohi (Centre), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee, on Monday stated to the daily newspaper that the committee is set to finalise its report on the initiative in September.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the 6th Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on June 29, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned Finland and Sweden that if they welcome NATO troops and military infrastructure onto their territory, Moscow will respond in kind.

While addressing a news conference in Turkmenistan, Putin said, "Only we must clearly and precisely understand --

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President Sauli Niinistö said in Madrid on Tuesday that discussions between officials were key to reaching a conclusion in the talks between Finland, Sweden and Turkey. (Heta Hassinen – Lehtikuva)

TONI ALARANTA, a senior research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, told YLE on Tuesday that he is surprised by how quickly Finland, Sweden and Turkey reached an agreement on inviting the two Nordic countries to join Nato.

Foreign ministers from the three countries yesterday signed a memorandum following almost four hours of negotiations that took place in conjunction with the defence alliance’s summit in Madrid, Spain.

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Rail passengers were ushered into coaches at the Tampere railway station on Sunday, 26 June. (Kalle Parkkinen – Lehtikuva)

RAIL TRAFFIC in Finland was in disarray on Sunday and Monday due to a nearly 24-hour delay in a railway bridge replacement project undertaken in Lempäälä, near Tampere.

The replacement was not completed until midday on Monday, 21 hours behind the scheduled completion of 3pm on Sunday. Helsingin Sanomat wrote that trains were also unable to cross the bridge at full speed following the resumption of traffic because the finalisation phase dragged on at least into yesterday evening.

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