Prime Minister Sanna Marin © Kosti Keistinen / Finnish Government

After her party videos landed the Finnish Prime Minister into trouble, Sanna Marin on Thursday said that she was ready to take a drug test.

The 36-year-old, who has faced some criticism over videos of her partying with celebrities, told reporters she was upset that videos taken at a private party were made public.
"I have nothing to hide. I have never taken drugs," Sputnik quoted her saying as saying to public broadcaster YLE.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) addressed the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group during its summer convention in Kuopio on Wednesday, 17 August 2022. (Matias Honkamaa – Str / Lehtikuva)

THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS is looking to expand pre-primary education from one to two years, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) revealed in her speech at the summer convention of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group on Wednesday.

“A two-year pre-primary education is a means to even out the skills gap between children at an even earlier stage,” she was quoted saying by Helsingin Sanomat. “Pre-primary education is free, so it’d also reduce the early-childhood fees of parents.”

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A view over the rooftops of Helsinki from Ateljee Bar, the rooftop of Hotel Torni, on 12 April 2022. Officers at Helsinki Police Department told on 16 August that they failed to identify the substance that caused symptoms to three of the bar’s employees in early July. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

OFFICERS at Helsinki Police Department have wrapped up their pre-trial investigation into an incident in which three employees developed symptoms after being exposed to a substance in Ateljee Bar, the rooftop bar of Hotel Torni, in Helsinki.

Detective chief inspector Crista Granroth told Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday that investigators did their utmost identify the substance, but it could not be identified in either forensic analyses or medical sequencing.

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A person holding glasses over coins and banknotes on a table in Espoo on 5 August 2022. Consumer prices in Finland rose by 7.8 per cent year-on-year in July, according to Statistics Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

CONSUMER PRICES in Finland surged at a year-on-year clip of 7.8 per cent for the second consecutive month in July, indicates the latest consumer price index of Statistics Finland.

Jukka Appelqvist, the chief economist at Finland Chamber of Commerce, described the increase in prices as “absolutely exceptional” in recent history, highlighting that monthly consumer prices have crept up at an average pace of 1.6 per cent in the 2000s.

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Patrons on a terrace in Turku on 22 July 2022. Spending has become an increasingly important aspect of free time, putting a strain on friendships between people from different income groups. (Anni Savolainen – Lehtikuva)

INCOME DIFFERENCES can pose a significant challenge to friendships because friends tend to see one another in their free time.

“A friend having low income can determine whether you can go have a cup of coffee, go out to eat, go out shopping or travel somewhere. As free time has become more consumption-oriented in the 2000s, challenges related to income differences may have grown and become more salient,” Terhi-Anna Wilska, a professor of sociology at the University of Jyväskylä, explained to STT on Sunday.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) spoke to reporters outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Tuesday, 16 August 2022. The Finnish government yesterday convened for a so-called evening school session to discuss visas granted to Russians. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

THE MINISTRY for Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said Finland will halve the number of visa appointments scheduled for Russians as of September.

Finland is presently scheduling roughly a thousand visa appointments a day for Russians. The number of appointments will be reduced to an average of 500, with 400 of the appointments reserved for applicants with, for example, family, study or work-related reasons for entering the country.

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Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) spoke to reporters at the opening of the 240th National Defence Course in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Monday, 15 August 2022. (Saara Peltola – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) views that Finland is already fully compatible with Nato.

“The Nato compatibility we’ve developed for a long time is now showing its benefits. We’re now fully compatible with Nato. We satisfy the membership criteria of Nato. All you need to do is plug it in, I guess you could say,” he stated in his remarks at the opening of the 240th National Defence Course in the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Monday.

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A waiter at work during lunchtime in a restaurant in Helsinki in January 2020. Ilmarinen, a Finnish pension insurance firm, says businesses in the accommodation and restaurant sector had 11 per cent more employees in July 2022 than July 2021. (Hanna Matikainen – Lehtikuva)

PENSION INSURER Ilmarinen on Monday revealed that the number of employees in the more than 60,000 companies covered by its economic review crept up by more than two per cent from the previous year in July.

The employment growth was driven especially by the accommodation and restaurant businesses, as well as employment service providers.

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Photo: Santeri Viinamäki

Ride-sharing will resume on 1 September 2022 for customers using a Kela taxi.

Ride-sharing was halted in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive COVID-19 restrictions have now largely been lifted. As part of this easing, ride-sharing for customers using a Kela taxi will be resumed in September. This means that customers travelling to or from a healthcare provider may share their ride with other customers.

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People enjoyed the warm weather at the Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki in late June 2022. The weather is forecast to remain summery in large parts of the country this week, according to YLE. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

LAST WEEKEND, temperatures hit 25°C as far up north as Vaasa.

Joonas Koskela, a meteorologist at YLE, on Sunday stated to the public broadcasting company that warm air is expected to continue spreading further north on Monday, pushing the mercury over 25°C possibly as far north as Oulu. The warm air is presently forecast to continue tracking north and arrive in Lapland on Tuesday.

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