Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Finnish Police Set to Investigate Director-General of the Finnish Maritime Administration

The City of Helsinki has asked police to investigate allegations that the Director-General of the Finnish Maritime Administration as well as certain other maritime office holders and employees have been renting a Nauticat 33 vessel at a peppercorn rate from Alfons Håkans Oy, the largest towage, rescue, and heavy transport company in Finland.

Finnish State Alko Workers on Strike From November 15

Workers of the state-owned alcohol retail monopoly Alsko will go on a 3-day strike from November 15.

On Tuesday, the action was confirmed when the umbrella union for the employees in the alcohol, gaming, insurance and financial services trade, Suora, granted permission to strike and strike support to the Professional Association of Alcohol Trades. The strike warning was delivered to the Conciliator General on Tuesday.

Finnish Consumers Expect Rising Prices

Finnish consumers expect that the pace of price rises will increase. The latest consumer survey by Statistics Finland shows most people believe that prices will rise by more than 3% over the next few months.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Two Finnish Parliamentarians Convicted in Separate Court Cases

The Tampere District Court on Friday sentenced National Coalition Party MP Kimmo Sasi to 70 day fines in a case involving a fatal crash in March in which he was the driver. With Sasi's monthly income of slightly more than EUR 9,000, the income-linked fine amounts to EUR 6,160. Meanwhile, another National Coalition Party MP, Petri Salo, was found guilty of slander by the Vaasa Court of Appeals.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Finnish Figures for Losses Caused by Shoplifting Among Highest in Europe

According to the Federation of Finnish Commerce estimates, the nationwide annual loss caused by shoplifting is about EUR 437 million, which translates to 1.34 percent of the total net sales. Whilst this marks a decline from a 2003 study, the figure is still one of the highest in Europe. Of this sum, the actual thefts constitute around EUR 360 million. Another 50 to 100 million is spent on surveillance systems.

Walkouts After Stora Enso Announces 1,100 Job Cuts in Finland

Stora Enso is to slash at least 1,100 jobs in Finland. The company is to permanently shutdown the Summa Paper Mill, one magazine paper machine at Anjala Mill, and the pulp mill in Kemijärvi. Employees at many Stora Enso plants have walked off the job in protest against the closures. Some 15 million euros in state aid has been promised to help areas affected.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beggars On Helsinki Streets

Many claim to have seen a big van bring them to their pitches and drop them off, and then the beggars set themselves up suitably at intervals of a couple of hundred metres from each other. For many, the sight of these beggars brings to mind the familiar organised - and even violent - gangs of beggars seen in the metropoles of Southern Europe, and they worry lest such a phenomenon might be taking root here in Finland.

National Crime Rate Rises Seven Percent

Crime is on the rise, according to preliminary statistics released by Statistics Finland. All in all, 624,000 crimes were reported to police from January to September, which is an increase of seven percent over the same period last year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finnish MP Faces Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Court

Parliamentarian Kimmo Sasi appeared in court on Monday to face charges of involuntary manslaughter and dangerous driving following a motoring accident earlier this year.

Finnish MP Faces Charges Over ASEM Riot

Paavo Arhinmäki, a Member of Parliament of the Left Alliance Party, has been charged in Helsinki District Court over a clash during the Smash ASEM demonstration in Helsinki last autumn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Finnish Police Chase of Rwandan Refugee Leads to Attempted Suicide

A Rwandan woman who had been hiding in the city of Lahti after being refused asylum has attempted suicide. She attempted to kill herself after police started searching for her hiding place in private accommodation.

The police were looking for the woman after the Directorate of Immigration refused to once again consider her application for refugee status.She has faced expulsion since last spring. She arrived in Finland in May, 2005 but her application for asylum was rejected.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Traffic Discipline Very Slack In Helsinki

Road accidents are on the increase in Helsinki, and in particular there are signs of deteriorating traffic discipline in the capital region. While the empirically observed number of violations is quite obviously on the increase, the authorities are concerned at the impunity with which people run red lights and exceed speed limits. There are calls for an extension of the zero tolerance policies applied recently on Highway 51 leading west from Helsinki.

Cash-Strapped Emergency Call Centres May Be Halved

Severe financial difficulties may force Finland's Emergency Response Centre to shut down half of its call centres, reports the newspaper Savon Sanomat.

Nearly 13,000 Finnish Nurses Ready For Mass Resignation

The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) announced Monday morning that about 12,800 nurses are ready to hand in their resignations, effective November 19th. Tehy predicts that if the action begins, it would paralyse Finland's health care system.The stoppage would have its most serious impact on the large hospitals of Helsinki, Turku, and Tampere.

Finland Falls Behind Many Other Countries On Climate Issues

Finland has fallen far behind the other Nordic Countries in cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions. Finland ranks 36th on the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), putting it on a par with Algeria and Belarus. Sweden is at the top of the list, and Denmark is in third place."Finland has settled for a place in the back row", says Professor Jyri Seppälä of the Finnish Environment Indstitute.

Historian Heikki Ylikangas Challenges Finnish National Mythology

This is not a man who is afraid of being right - or of being alone. Last Tuesday, Heikki Ylikangas published the book Romahtaako rintama? ("Is the Front Collapsing?") whose basic thesis is that the Finns executed more of their own soldiers for desertion during the final phases of the continuation War than had been previously disclosed.

YLE Censors Muhammed-Cartoons Documentary

Danish film director Karsten Kjær has reacted with anger and astonishment at a decision by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) not to show his film Bloody Cartoons, which analyses the controversy surrounding the publication of caricatures depicting the prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper in early 2006. The film is part of the world's largest international documentary project called Why Democracy?

Finnish Teenagers Have Less Pocket Money Than Their Nordic Colleagues

Finnish teenagers lag behind their Nordic contemporaries on the income front. Where a Danish youth has an impressive EUR 152 at their disposal per month, a Finnish teenager has to survive with a mere EUR 48 of spending money. The primary source of income for the Finnish 13 to 17-year-olds is their parents, but the Finnish providers are fairly tight-fisted compared with their Scandinavian counterparts. In Finland the average amount of monthly allowance for a teenager is EUR 40, against Denmark’s 50, Sweden’s 63, and Norway’s 70 euros per month. Furthermore, four out of ten Finnish youngsters do not get any spending money at all. In Sweden, on the other hand, very few parents deny their kids a monthly

Finnish PM And Self-Censorship In Finland

Could the worries of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) about the limits to his own privacy be the road to self-censorship of the media? Will it lead to us journalists becoming wary of spreading information that might be objectionable to Vanhanen? Will we for instance henceforth refrain from any references to his romantic adventures before the rings have been exchanged or before Vanhanen has himself promised to publish news of his dating?