News in Brief

  • Greens outline proposals to attract 80,000 foreign workers to Finland to boost ailing economy

    Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo at the Greens' Government Group conference in Lahti earlier today (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A GROUP OF MINISTERS FROM THE GREEN PARTY HAVE OUTLINED PROPOSALS to attract 80,000 foreign workers to Finland in order to plug knowledge gaps and stimulate growth in the Finnish economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus. 

  • Greens push for marijuana legalisation in Finland

    The Green League (Greens) created a stir on Sunday when it approved an initiative calling for marijuana to be decriminalised in Finland, making it the first party in the parliament to support the legalisation of the drug.

    The initiative seeks to decriminalise the use, possession, manufacture and sale of marijuana, and recommends that the drug be subject to the same comprehensive regulations (including regulations on manufacture, sales and taxes) as other legal substances. It also calls for the removal of criminal convictions related to marijuana use from citizens’ personal data records. 

  • Greta Thunberg's organization accuses Finland of double standards over opening of coal-fired power plant

    Thunberg at an EU climate summit in Brussels in March (Image: Lehtikuva)

    THE SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG has shared a letter from her 'Friday's for Future' organization accusing the Finnish government of a 'double standard' over the decision of the state-owned energy firm Fortum to open up a coal-fired power plant in Germany. 

  • Grim weekend in Finland as mother murders child, man kills passing dog and train collision kills one: Today’s news roundup

    According to local newspapers, a 38-year-old woman in Tampere, Southern Finland has been arrested and charged for murdering her child. The child’s body was found by police when it washed up on the Lukonlahti shore in Särkijärvi on Saturday. 

    In another grave incident, a man is suspected of killing a dog that was passing through a farm with its owner in Savisaari, Kuopio (Northern Savonia) on Monday. 

  • Growing number of people breaking quarantine in Finland

    Finnish policehave reported increasing instances of quarantine violations across the country. Several people have breached regulations by leaving their homes and interacting with individuals outside their own household. 

    Breaking quarantine is currently an offence that is punishable by law. Violating the order could lead to a heavy fine or a sentence of maximum three months in prison (regardless of whether anyone other than the individual has been infected).  

  • Growing population, new railway line and record TV viewing: Today’s news roundup

    Local news outlets reported that Finland’s population and birth rate saw a small spike last year. Preliminary data from Statistics Finland indicates that the country’s population grew by just under 11,000 in 2020.

    In other news, an Eastern railway line project, which will link Helsinki to Eastern Finland via Porvoo, has got the go-ahead. 

  • Heat wave continues with temperatures expected to hit a record high

    The Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued high temperature warnings for half of Finland today as Eastern and Southern parts of the country are expected to bear the brunt of the ongoing heat wave. 

    Southeastern Finland will likely experience the highest temperatures, with the mercury forecast to rise above 30°C. The warm weather (with an average temperature of 24 degrees) is expected to continue till Thursday, with Tuesday slated to be the hottest day of the week. 

  • Heat wave could continue till August, experts warn

    Meteorologists have revealed that temperatures in Finland could range between 25 to 35℃ throughout the month of July. The unusually warm weather has already led to unforeseen consequences such as an increase in blue-green algae in lakes and coastal waters as well as an exceptionally early strawberry season.

    The average water temperature of coastal bodies could rise to up to 30℃ in the next few days. Additionally, while the humidity could drive some kinds of mosquitoes away, it might also hasten the hatching of certain species, such as anopheles mosquitoes, which thrive in warm weather.  

  • Helsinki bans using e-scooters past midnight on weekends 

    The City of Helsinki is imposing restrictions on the use of electric scooters from Friday onwards. As part of a trial that will last till the end of the year, the scooters will be out of service from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. on weekends.  

    E-scooter rental firms operating in the city (Voi, Tier and Lime) have also agreed to regulate the speed of the devices. Maximum speeds will be reduced from 25 km/hr to 20 km/hr during the day and 15 km/hr on weeknights (12 a.m. to 5 a.m.)  

  • Helsinki metro, tram services to be suspended for two days due to driver strike

    Metro and tram services in Helsinki will halt on Thursday and Friday as drivers have called a strike over plans to incorporate public transport company Helsinki City Transport (HKL).

    Accordingto Helsingin Sanomat, the City Board approved the proposal to incorporate HKL, which operates the city’s metro and tram lines, on Monday with a nearly unanimous vote of 12–3. 

  • Helsinki police admit to carrying out surveillance of Roma people 

    Helsinki police have published a report confirming the existence of an operation that involved monitoring the activities of members of the Finnish Roma community between 2013 and 2015. 

    Last week, Yle published areport outlining information it had received suggesting police were tracking the movements of Roma people in the Helsinki metropolitan area, keeping a detailed record on which cars they drove and whom they interacted with, as well as whether they had weapons in their possession.

  • Helsinki police launch investigation and appeal to public after large amounts of oil found dumped in city waterways

    Ditch elements have been placed in streams in an attempt to mitigate the damage from the oil (Image: Lehtikuva)

    HELSINKI POLICE HAVE OPENED AN INVESTIGATION into potential environmental crimes after significant amounts of what is currently believed to be diesel oil has been found in some of the city's waterways. Police have also appealed to the public for any information about who may be responsible. 

  • Helsinki ranked third best city in the world by Brit magazine

    UK-based lifestyle magazine Monocle has ranked Helsinki the third best city in the world in terms of quality of life. The magazine’s annual Quality of Life survey lists the top 25 most liveable cities in the world. 

    Cities are assessed according to metrics such as access to services, public transport and crime rates. Copenhagen, Denmark claimed the top spot in this year’s rankings. This would be the fourth time the city has taken first place since the survey was introduced in 2007. 

  • Helsinki ranked top city in the world for a happy retirement

    Image: Lehtikuva

    THE FINNISH CAPITAL HAS TOPPED THE INTERNATIONAL RANKINGS ONCE MORE. this time being ranked as the best city in the world for a happy and affordable retirement, according to a study from a UK retirement planning company.

  • Helsinki street art honouring healthcare workers unveiled

    A shot of the new mural in Helsinki's Vallila neighbourhood (Image: Lehtikuva)

    AN EYE-CATCHING NEW MURAL dedicated to Finland's healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis has been unveiled in Helsinki's Vallila neighbourhood. 

  • Helsinki to provide year-long emergency housing for foreign nationals

    Following a lengthy debateand vote, Helsinki’s social services and healthcare division has decided that emergency housing should be made available for people that need it throughout the year, regardless of their nationality.  

    At a meeting on Tuesday, politicians discussed an initiative put forth byKatju Aro, co-founder and chairperson of Finland’s Feminist Party, and nineteen others.  

  • Helsinki to spend 1 million euros on recruiting doctors

    The Social Services and Healthcare divisionof the city of Helsinki has announced plans to outsource the recruitment of medical staff.

    In a meeting on Tuesday, social services elected to issue a tender for recruitment services to cope with the growing demand for staff at health centres and hospitals in the city. The decision was approved by legislators the same day. 

  • Helsinki University begins research into use of dogs to detect coronavirus infections

    A trained sniffer dog at the University of Helsinki's Viikki Campus (Image: Lehtikuva)

    RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI have begun trials exploring the use of trained sniffer dogs to detect instances of coronavirus infection in the general population. It is hoped that the method will prove more effective than current testing tools.

  • Helsinki-Vantaa airport to begin mass testing for travellers entering Finland


    Starting this weekend, the Helsinki-Vantaa airport will require all travellers arriving in the country who do not have sufficient evidence of a negative coronavirus test result to undergo screening.

    Finnish law prohibits authorities from demanding certificates or documentation related to coronavirus tests from travellers coming into the country. They may, however, insist on them taking a test at the airport.

  • Homeless youth increasing and cocaine boom in Finland: Today’s news roundup

    According toa report by the Finnish News Agency STT, a growing number of young people in Finland are facing homelessness. There were 850 homeless people under the age of 25 last year, which makes up one-fifth of Finland’s entire homeless population, as per the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA).

    The Finnish Customs (Tulli) has said that Finland is experiencing a “cocaine boom.” MTVreports that around one in every 10 men aged 25–34 has admitted to experimenting with the drug.