A visitor at the Helsinki Central Library Oodi/Lehtikuva

 

Finland’s library culture was in the spotlight this week, with Helsinki’s latest addition Oodi receiving special attention. The government invested 98 million euros in the central library, which received 3.1 million visits in its first year alone.

Finland’s Library Act, which aims to make culture and learning accessible to everyone, guarantees that libraries are free and open to anyone who wishes to use them.  

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Newspapers across the globe reported on the public outrage sparked by the Finnish PM's breakfast bills/Lehtikuva

The controversy surrounding Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s breakfast expenses made international headlines this week, with the story being covered by newspapers in France, Sweden and Italy, as well as non-European countries. 

French daily Le Monde called the affair—dubbed breakfastgate by several newspapers—a “political conflict,” also describing it as a “storm in a glass of water” from an international perspective. US-based Politico has also been following developments on the story. 

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Manager Markku Kanerva with the Finnish national football team at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium/Lehtikuva

The Finnish national football team has received significant coverage from international media after they qualified for the finals of the 2020 edition of the UEFA European championship (Euro).

This is the first time that Finland has made it to the finals of a major tournament, with their biggest achievement till now being a fourth-place finish at the 1912 Olympics when the country was still part of Russia. 

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Image source: The Football Association of Finland

The National League (Kansallinen Liga), Finland’s top division of women’s football, graced headlines this week when it announced plans to provide a sports hijab to any player that requests one.  

Until now, football teams in Finland offered children kits, socks and shorts. The addition of hijabs is aimed at increasing inclusivity and making the sport more accessible to members of all communities and religions.   

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The Finnish military has been using the F-18 Hornet fleet since the 90s/Lehtikuva

The Finnish city of Tampere has been in the spotlight after it recently announced its intention to run for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2026.

The Tampere26 application is centred on the theme of “Equality European” and will focus on the core values of equality, diversity, accessibility and sustainability. It seeks to promote equality through cultural activities and discussions.

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K-Citymarket could become the first retailer in Europe to have an onsite microbrewery/Lehtikuva

Finnish supermarket chain K-Citymarket hit the headlines this week when it announced plans to establish an onsite brewery at its Vantaa outlet.

According to the retailer, the onsite microbrewery will be the first of its kind in Europe and will manufacture beers under the Rosendahl brand from May onwards.

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Trombia Free on the streets of Espoo earlier this month/Lehtikuva

Finnish railway company VR Transpoint made international headlines this week when it unveiled a “super train” that weighs the equivalent of 92 trucks when fully loaded. 

The one-kilometre long train, named Mörkö (after the fictional character in the popular Moomin series), carries 7,000 tonnes of weight and 80 wagons, breaking the Finnish record for train tonnage. 

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Image source: UPM Plywood

Finland could soon become the first country in the world to launch a wooden satellite into space. The project, called the WISA Woodsatt, has been developed by Finnish space companies Arctic Astronautics and Huld, in partnership with forest industry firm UPM Plywood.

The nanosatellite is based on the CubeSat standard, measuring roughly 10x10x10 cm and weighing a kilogram. The satellite will be launched by Rocket Lab’s electron vehicle in New Zealand later this year.

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A running enthusiast braves the slippery streets and chilly weather of February in Helsinki/Lehtikuva

A new study put Finland in the spotlight this week when it was unveiled as the most physically active country during the pandemic.

Published in the Journal of Frontiers in Psychology, the study examined cross-cultural health behaviors and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on perceived wellbeing. It also analysed how different confinement measures in multiple countries led to differences in health outcomes.

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The Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant units (OL1, OL2 and OL3) Eurajoki, Western Finland/Lehtikuva

The international press revealed that Finland will soon be home to the largest nuclear reactor in Europe this week. The Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear power plant unit was granted a charging permit on 26 March.

Located in Eurajoki, Southwest Finland, the unit is expected to produce around 14 per cent of the country’s electricity and will likely begin commercial operations in February 2022.

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Teemu Pukki, seen wearing an "I stand with Glen" t-shirt, has called for UEFA to do more to combat racism in football/Lehtikuva

Finnish football players were in the spotlight this week when they expressed their support for teammate Glen Kamara by wearing “I stand with Glen” t-shirts.

Kamara, who plays for the Scottish professional football club Rangers, was allegedly the target of racist comments during a Europa League match against the Slavia Prague football club last week. 

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