The Tampere Worker's Theatre plans to lay off 120 employees this year/Lehtikuva

Multiple industries in Finland have been hit hard by coronavirus restrictions, with the greatest losses suffered by the restaurant, hospitality, arts and entertainment sectors. 

According to Helsingin Uutiset, the  arts and recreation industry (which includes cultural, entertainment and recreational activities such as music, theater, museums and sports) in the country is facing losses of up to 700 million euros this year due to the ongoing pandemic. 

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“It’s up to everyone of us what the summer will be like,” said Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP). (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) on Friday released its preliminary strategy for removing the restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus epidemic in a gradual and controlled fashion.

“The goal is to provide a vision for the coming months for citizens, businesses and other members of society,” Marin summarised at the Government Palace in Helsinki.

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The National Audit Office of Finland (VTV) has found itself in the eye of a media storm following reports about, for example, its recent shift in operational focus. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

MEMBERS of the Parliament have expressed their surprise at recent reports about changes in the operational focus of the National Audit Office of Finland (VTV).

“We haven’t received any kind of written statement about a collapse in auditing operations, nor have we been able to read anything of the kind between the lines,” Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto (Greens), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Audit Committee, said to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

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Forensic scientists examined the scene of a double murder in Perno, a western district of Turku, on Saturday, 3 April 2021. (Roni Lehti – Lehtikuva)

HOMICIDE INVESTIGATORS at South-west Finland Police Department have requested that a man born in 1993 be detained on suspicion of two murders and three attempted murders in connection with an incident that took place in Perno, a western district of Turku, on Saturday.

MTV and Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday revealed that the suspect is registered as a resident of Kouvola, an over 80,000-resident city in south-east Finland.

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Restaurants would be allowed to re-open this month under the government’s preliminary strategy for doing away with the restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, writes YLE. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT is intent on removing the restrictions on social life as soon as the coronavirus epidemic begins to loosen its strangle hold on society.

YLE on Thursday reported, citing the still unpublished preliminary exit strategy of the government, that the so-called shutdown is set to end this month, while primary schools are set to resume in-person instruction as soon as possible – likely by the end of the month.

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The National Emergency Supply Agency (HVK) in April 2020 took delivery of face masks that, upon further inspection, proved unfit for hospital use. (Kalle Parkkinen – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY SUPPLY AGENCY (HVK) has won a legal action to invalidate its acquisition of face masks from Look Medical Care, an Estonia-based personal care company owned by Finnish entrepreneur Tiina Jylhä.

An Estonian court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling in the case to allow the agency to recover its 2.6-million-euro initial payment, equivalent to half of the acquisition value, according to STT.

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Police investigate a crime scene in Perno, Turku, where two people were shot dead on Saturday/Lehtikuva

Finnish police had their hands full over the Easter weekend as they received significantly more emergency calls this year compared to the same time last year, particularly in Southwest Finland.  

Ilta-Sanomat reports that police responded to a total of 1,566 emergency calls in Southwest Finland and Satakunta (Western Finland) between Thursday and Monday. 

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Tytti Yli-Viikari, the director general of the National Audit Office of Finland (VTV), was surrounded by members of the media as she was leaving the Parliament Annex in Helsinki on Thursday, 8 April 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

TYTTI YLI-VIIKARI, the director general of the National Audit Office of Finland (VTV), has been suspended from duty for the duration of a pre-trial investigation opened into her actions by the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP).

The unanimous decision was made on Thursday by the Chancellery Commission of the Parliament.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke to reporters outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Wednesday, 7 April 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) on Wednesday revealed that she is “cautiously optimistic” about life returning to returning to relative normalcy by Midsummer in Finland, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

“I don’t think it’s impossible, but it isn’t possible to say anything for sure. The uncertainty is linked to what we’re having to deal with,” she commented to journalists outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki.

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Holidaymakers on the slopes at Levi Ski Resort in Kittilä, Lapland, on Good Friday, 2 April 2021. (Irene Stachon – Lehtikuva)

SKI RESORTS in Northern Finland welcomed a substantial number of visitors over Easter. Cottages in Levi and Ylläs in Lapland, for example, were fully booked well before the start of the long holiday weekend.

“If we compare to the year preceding the coronavirus epidemic, Visit Levi’s books had more bookings,” Yrjötapio Kivisaari, the CEO of Visit Levi, commented to STT on Sunday.

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By the resolution on promoting a circular economy adopted today, on 7 April, the Finnish Government committed to reducing the consumption of unrenewable natural resources. The resolution also restricts the use of renewable natural resources in Finland: the total consumption of domestic primary raw materials in 2035 will not exceed the level in 2015*. The resolution is based on a vision that in 2035 the Finnish economy will be based on a carbon-neutral circular economy society.

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According to the latest statistics from the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL), alcohol consumption in the country dropped significantly last year, with per capita consumption reaching a record low. 

THL also revealed that deaths related to the synthetic psychoactive drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, have more than tripled between 2011 and 2017.

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People walking a dog in the rain in Helsinki on 29 March 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

A TOTAL of 48,895 dogs were registered with the Finnish Kennel Club in 2020.

The number of registrations represents an increase of eight per cent from the previous year, confirming that the coronavirus epidemic and the widespread restrictions it has imposed on social lives have prompted many to seek canine companionship.

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Recent figures from the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) have revealed that Finland has the lowest rate of induced abortions among Nordic countries. 

It also has the strictest abortion laws, being the only Nordic country where women need to acquire the signature of at least one doctor (in some cases two) to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. 

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Tytti Yli-Viikari, the director of the National Audit Office (VTV), has recently come under scrutiny for her spending and leadership style during her five-year tenure at the helm of VTV. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

AN EXTRAORDINARY AUDIT into the National Audit Office (VTV) will be carried out in the Finnish Parliament, reveals Veijo Niemi (PS), the chairperson of Parliamentary Auditors.

Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday reported that the auditors were set to sign off on their audit report next week, but they have postponed it to look more closely into the recently reported discrepancies in the use of funds at VTV.

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A police officer directed traffic at the site of an accident that left eight people injured in Suomussalmi, Eastern Finland, on Monday, 5 April 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

EIGHT PEOPLE suffered injuries as two cars crashed into one another in Suomussalmi, Eastern Finland, on Monday.

The accident took place on highway 5 some 10 kilometres north of the 8,000-resident municipality shortly before 10am, as the driver of a south-bound car tried to overtake a long line of vehicles but failed to get back into their lane before crashing head-on into an approaching car.

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