Veikkaus had to reduce the number of its slot machines in public places by 3000 after being criticised for its marketing. Lehtikuva

It’s often said that close neighbours mimic each other, and this is certainly the case for Sweden and Finland.

The two countries may be fierce rivals on the hockey rink or Eurovision stage, but they do have a similar approach to governance. After all, both Finland and Sweden have economies based on the Nordic Model, mixing capitalism with social welfare.

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A migrant with a child is helped arriving on Lesbos, an island in the north-eastern parts of the Aegean Sea in Greece, on 16 September 2019. (Aris Messinis – AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE REFUGEE QUOTA will be increased by 100 to 850 in Finland.

The Finnish government announced its decision to raise the quota for next year in the wake of its newly concluded budget session, revealing that it will accept 400 Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Turkey, 200 Congolese refugees from Zambia and 130 refugees from Niger.

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Members of the Finnish government talked to the media after wrapping up their first budget session in Helsinki on Tuesday, 17 September 2019. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) has expressed its commitment to utilising immigration to improve the employment rate in Finland.

The government announced yesterday it will reduce the processing time for work permit applications to one month and move work permit-related issues from the purview of the Ministry of the Interior to that of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

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Switching from using your own car to using a taxi makes sense from a financial viewpoint especially for residents of urban areas, according to an analysis by Vertaa Ensin, a Finnish website specialising in comparing financial products. (Irene Stachon – Lehtikuva)

TAKING A TAXI is cheaper than using your own car in Finland, finds an analysis conducted by Vertaa Ensin, a Finnish website comparing

The Finnish website for comparing a variety of financial products examined the costs of the two forms of transport for a person who uses a car to get to and back from work every day and do the grocery shopping twice a week. 

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Farmers scraped peat on a bog in Seinäjoki on 29 August 2019. (Anni Reenpää – Lehtikuva)

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS have expressed their disappointment with the climate actions laid out in the first supplementary budget of the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

Marita Laukkanen, a senior researcher at VATT Institute for Economic Research, told YLE on Wednesday that the first measures agreed on by the government represent only a minuscule step towards achieving its carbon neutrality goal by 2035.

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Finnish exports are forecast to increase by 3.8 per cent in 2019 but only by 1.3 per cent in 2020. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE RESEARCH INSTITUTE of the Finnish Economy (Etla) has downgraded its growth outlook for Finland for 2019–2020.

Etla on Monday revealed that it expects the country’s gross domestic product to grow by no more than 1.1 per cent this year and by 0.9 per cent in 2020 due to the slowdown of both the eurozone and the world economy.

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Ursula von der Leyen, the president-designate of the European Commission, has said she will propose the introduction of an EU-wide statutory minimum wage. (Kenzo Tribouillard – AFP/Lehtikuva)

NORDISKA UNIONEN, a Nordic confederation of trade unions in the grocery sector, has voiced its reservations about the idea of adopting a minimum wage across the European Union.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president-designate of the European Commission, revealed during her leadership campaign that she will propose that a statutory minimum wage be introduced for employees across the 28-country bloc.

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The Finnish government is reducing the net earnings and purchasing power of wage earners, says Teemu Lehtinen, the CEO at the Taxpayers’ Association of Finland (TAF). (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE TAX RATE of middle-income earners will creep up by 0.4 percentage points during the course of next year, according to the Taxpayers’ Association of Finland (TAF).

Its estimate takes into account the effects of both the competitiveness pact introduced by the previous government and the tax policy decisions made in the newly concluded budget session of the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP).

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Increasing staffing levels at care facilities is an investment in a healthy workforce, says Millariikka Rytkönen, the chairperson at the Union of Social and Health Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy). (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

THE CHAIRPERSON of the Union of Social and Health Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy), Millariikka Rytkönen, has told Uusi Suomi that lack of funding is a cop-out for not hiring 4,000 new nurses and physicians by 2023.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) conceded last week that the government does not have the funds to hire all of the health care professionals.

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A screen capture of a one-euro listing of a 503-square-metre commercial property in Merihaka, Helsinki. (Screen capture –

AN UNUSUAL 29-room, 503-square-metre property is for sale in Merihaka, Helsinki.

The massive commercial property, which is currently housing a hostel, is listed for a price of one euro, but the listing states clearly, in capital letters, that the property will be sold on the basis of offers – a detail that appears to have gone unnoticed by some prospective buyers.

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