Presidential Election Run-Off
If there was a second round of voting in the upcoming Presidential election, who would Finns want to see there? Incumbent President Sauli Niinistö (NCP, CD) has been far ahead in the polls and if he gets more than 50% of the vote on 28th January he would win another term in office outright. But if he gets less than 50% of the vote there would need to be a second round of voting. According to a new survey, some 32% of voters want to see Green Alliance candidate Pekka Haavisto there in the second round. Far behind him come Finns Party’s Laura Huhtasaari and independent candidate Paavo Väyrynen on 11%.
Foreign Driving Licenses
There are new rules in the pipeline for using foreign driving licenses in Finland. From 1st February it will be valid to drive in mainland Finland using licenses from any state that Finland recognises. Previously it was only valid to use licenses issues by an EU or European Economic Area member state, or from countries that signed up to international road traffic conventions. But soon, other licenses are accepted for one year from the driver’s entry to Finland, but with a few conditions. The licence has to be valid in the issuing country, and be written in the Latin alphabet – or have authorised translations into Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, German French. The new changes still have to be approved by the President, but he is expected to rubber stamp the legislation today.
Finland – Estonia Friendship
A group of business owners in Tallinn is planning a monument to friendship between Finland and Estonia. It comes as both countries celebrate their 100 years of independence: Finland in 2017 and Estonia in 2018. The friendship monument initiative is being lead by a former Estonian Winter Olympic athlete, who recalls fondly the strong sporting bonds between the two Baltic neighbours. Allar Levandi competed in the Calgary Olympics and has now been planning the friendship statue for Tallinn’s Rottermann Quarter near the port where ferries from Finland arrive. The winner of a design competition for the new memorial will be chosen by public vote in February.
Golden Venla Awards Tonight
It’s a star-studded night in Finland’s awards season, as the Golden Venla Awards take place in Helsinki. The annual event honours the best and brightest in the domestic television industry – performers, producers and show creators. Most of the votes are cast by the Venla Academy members, but some categories are voted by members of the public, including most popular programme and audience favourite personality. More than 80,000 votes have been cast. The awards are aired live on state-funded broadcaster YLE2 at 20:00 this evening.
Friday Morning Weather
It’s a chilly start to the weekend across the whole country according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Some of the coldest temperatures are in the south east, with the morning expecting lows down to -17°C. In the capital city region, south and southwest coast, expect temperatures below zero with foggy patches. It starts dry but cloudy into Central Finland, with the chance of snow in Vaasa. In Lapland, temperatures range from -5°C to -13°C.