Kittilä, a roughly 6,300-resident municipality in Finnish Lapland, will maintain its municipal tax rate at 20.25 per cent in 2020. (Otto Ponto – Lehtikuva)

FIFTY-THREE Finnish municipalities have decided to raise their municipal tax rates for 2020, reports the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (Kuntaliitto).

Including large regional centres such as Tampere, Kuopio, Kouvola and Vaasa, the municipalities have a total population of approximately 1.1 million, which is the highest number of people affected by municipal tax hikes since 2014.

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Pekka Perä and Lassi Lammassaari of Talvivaara attending a hearing at the District Court of Kainuu in Kajaani on 4 August 2015. (Kimmo Rauatmaa – Lehtikuva)

THE SUPREME COURT of Finland (KKO) has upheld the sentences handed down to Pekka Perä and Lassi Lammassaari of Talvivaara, a now-defunct miner based in Sotkamo, Eastern Finland.

Perä, a former chief executive and board chairperson at Talvivaara, was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence for aggravated impairment of the environment by the Rovaniemi Court of Appeal in March 2018.

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The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) has announced further sympathy strikes that are to have an impact on, for example, public transport services in Greater Helsinki on 25–26 November. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE TRADE UNION for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) will ramp up the sympathy strikes it announced in a bid to inject a sense of urgency into the stalled collective bargaining negotiations between the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (PAU) and Service Sector Employers (Palta).

The sympathy strikes will be expanded to cover airports around the country and public transport services in the capital region on Monday, 25 November.

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Letterboxes outside Postitalo in Helsinki on Monday, 18 November 2019. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

LITTLE OPTIMISM continues to surround the gridlocked collective bargaining negotiations between the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (PAU) and Service Sector Employers (Palta).

“There are lots of issues to address and several major issues on the table, which is why this is taking its time. I’m nonetheless under the impression that both sides are still seriously looking for an agreement,” Tuomas Aarto, the chairperson at Palta, commented on Monday.

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Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, gestures while presenting the commission’s latest economic forecasts in a press conference in Brussels on 7 November, 2019. (Aris Oikonomou – AFP/Lehtikuva)

FINLAND is one of a handful of countries at risk of being non-compliant with the growth and stability pact of the European Union in 2020, warns the European Commission.

The European Commission on Wednesday issued its comments on the budgets of eurozone countries for next year, warning the Finnish government that its spending increases will jeopardise its medium-term fiscal goals.

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Heidi Nieminen, the chairperson at the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (PAU), said PAU has no choice but to turn down the settlement proposal. (Seppo Samuli – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH Post and Logistics Union (PAU) on Tuesday turned down a proposal to settle the long-running dispute over the terms and conditions of employees at Posti, the Finnish state-owned postal services provider.

Tabled yesterday by National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala, the settlement proposal was accepted by Service Sector Employers (Palta).

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Jorma Malinen, the chairperson of Trade Union Pro, says employers have tabled unreasonable demands in the ongoing collective bargaining talks. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

EMPLOYER ORGANISATIONS have tabled harsh demands during the ongoing round of collective bargaining negotiations, according to Trade Union Pro and Finnish Industrial Union.

Trade Union Pro on Sunday revealed that employers have made dozens of proposals to weaken the terms and conditions of employment, such as halving holiday bonuses, increasing working time without compensation, limiting the right to strike and abolishing the practice of employers collecting union fees.

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Alasdair Scott, a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), presented the international organisation’s latest estimate of the Finnish economy in Helsinki on Wednesday, 19 November 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT will have to re-consider a number of previously ruled out policy options if it is to balance its budget by 2023, views the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF on Tuesday pointed out that the objective seems challenging in light of the one-off spending increases of up to three billion euros – 1.4 billion euros of which has already been committed – announced by the government and the subdued growth rate forecast for the national economy for 2020–2021.

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An open pit at the multi-metal mine of Terrafame in Sotkamo, Eastern Finland, on 3 October 2018. (Kimmo Rauatmaa – Lehtikuva)

FINNISH AUTHORITIES are unable to sufficiently supervise the operations of mines.

Helsingin Sanomat on Saturday revealed that permit authorities are currently struggling to verify the information presented in permit applications, whereas supervisory authorities only take the necessary samples in special circumstances.

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Coherent and comprehensive measures are needed to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2035, according to Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

POLICY MAKERS in Finland have no time to waste in devising a new energy and climate strategy to guide the country onto a road towards its carbon-neutrality objective for 2035.

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) on Friday published preliminary calculations about the carbon capture and storage capacity of forests that indicate that the road will be much rockier than expected.

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