A cyclist in chilly spring weather at Helsinki Market Square on Thursday, 18 April 2024. With temperatures presently well below seasonal averages, parts of the capital region could get a substantial snow cover between Friday and Saturday. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

SNOW is forecast to fall next weekend in large parts of Finland, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

Juha Tuomala, a meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), told Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday that tomorrow morning the snowfall is expected to be heavy particularly in eastern parts of the country, ranging from six to ten centimetres.

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Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen (PS) spoke to the media ahead of a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 3 April 2024. Rantanen on Thursday announced the government has approved a series of proposals designed to introduce tougher immigration provisions in Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT on Thursday approved a series of amendments to immigration and citizenship laws for presentation to parliament.

Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen (PS) stated at a press conference yesterday that the amendments make up the first part of a legislative package designed to introduce more stringent immigration provisions in Finland.

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Project Managers Tuomo Kinnunen (left) and Risto Ainasoja discuss the renovation of the Niemenmäki civil defense shelter with Deputy Mayor Daniel Sazonov. Next to them is Sazonov's assistant, Jeremias Nurmela. Photo: Helsinki City Fire Department.

In light of the current global situation, the City of Helsinki has announced a robust initiative to renovate several of its civil defense shelters over the next decade. This plan, revealed during an open house event at the recently upgraded Niemenmäki shelter, underscores the city's commitment to enhanced safety and preparedness.

Deputy Mayor Daniel Sazonov, who spoke at the event, highlighted the timely and crucial nature of these renovations.

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Leyla Akgez-Laakso, Finavia's CIO, received the award in Frankfurt. Photo: Skytrax

In a recent global survey conducted by Skytrax, Helsinki Airport has been named the best airport in Northern Europe, reaffirming its status as a leader in passenger satisfaction and airport services. The award was handed over to Finavia, the operator of Helsinki Airport, during a ceremony in Frankfurt on April 17, 2024.

Ulla Serlenius, the Executive Director at Helsinki Airport, expressed her delight over the consistent recognition the airport has received.

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Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party, attended a plenary session in parliament in Helsinki on Tuesday, 16 April 2024. Lindtman on Wednesday presented the opposition party’s plan for reducing the national debt burden on YLE A-studio. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY has presented a 2.5-billion-euro fiscal adjustment package as an alternative to the spending cuts and tax hikes announced by the government on Tuesday.

Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, admitted on YLE A-studio on Wednesday that Finland has to take action to reduce its debt burden.

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Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) talked to reporters before the second and final day of the government’s framework session in Helsinki on Tuesday, 16 April 2024. The session produced a three-billion-euro fiscal adjustment package that is founded on a 1.5-percentage-point increase in the general value-added tax rate, an increase that is projected to generate a billion euros in tax revenue. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Petteri Orpo (NCP) has defended the fiscal adjustment package ironed out at the newly concluded framework session.

Orpo on Tuesday stated on YLE A-studio that the government decided to build its effort on a 1.5-percentage-point increase in the general value-added tax rate, from 24.0 to 25.5 per cent, because it causes the least possible damage to economic and employment growth.

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The new Android and iOS versions of the Suomi.fi mobile application will be launched on April 22, 2024. Photo: Digital and Population Data Services Agency

On April 22, 2024, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency will release updated versions of the Suomi.fi mobile application for both Android and iOS platforms. This major update will not only revamp the visual appearance and functionality of the app but also improve its usability, accessibility, and navigation structure. Importantly, the update will phase out the support for older versions of the app, necessitating users to upgrade to continue services seamlessly.

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In a significant expansion of healthcare services, the Uusimaa Medical Helpline will begin offering remote appointments for children starting April 19, 2024. This service allows parents in Uusimaa, excluding Helsinki, to access medical consultations via video for their children, enhancing the convenience and accessibility of pediatric care.

The decision to include children in remote healthcare services follows the successful implementation of similar services for adults since October 2021.

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Between 2013 and 2022, nearly 200 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. Photo: Mostphotos

Over the past ten years, traffic accidents have claimed the lives of 197 motorcyclists and 36 moped riders in Finland, highlighting significant safety concerns on Finnish roads. According to a recent analysis by the Accident Data Institute (OTI), over half of the motorcyclists killed were speeding, and a third were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their accidents. The study also noted issues with modified mopeds and improperly secured helmets in moped-related fatalities.

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A recent survey conducted by YTK Unemployment Fund reveals a significant perception among Finns that age is a major hurdle in securing employment, especially for those over 45. The study, which involved nearly 23,000 participants from various industries across Finland, highlighted that a majority of respondents aged 55 to 64 view their age as the primary obstacle to finding a job.

Despite last year’s decrease in the cost of electricity, which strained many household budgets, unpaid utility bills continue to lead to credit defaults among Finnish consumers.

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LEHTIKUVA

Despite a significant drop in electricity prices last year, many Finnish consumers still struggle to pay their electric bills, leading to a persistent high level of credit defaults. A recent report from Suomen Asiakastieto Oy reveals that from January to March 2024, over 2,100 new payment default entries were registered due to unpaid electricity bills.

"We have been monitoring the phenomenon related to electricity prices and household payment difficulties since the beginning of 2022.

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