Morning Headlines: Friday 13th April 2018

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New SDP Social Security Plan

The Social Democrats say they’ve got a new plan to reform Finland’s social security system. It comes as the government struggles to get agreement on its own plan to overhaul the country’s disparate social and health care system, and faces ongoing criticism for ‘punishing’ unemployed people by taking away their benefits if they don’t do enough to look for work. SDP says it would introduce a universal system, which unifies the existing fragmented benefits system, and guarantee everyone who needs it benefits and services.

Latest Economic News

New statistics out this morning show that Finland’s economy grew by 2.4% in February compared to the year before. Statistics Finland also says that the national economy grew 2.2% in January compared to January 2017. Consumer prices are going up, rising 0.8% in March compared to the previous March with cigarettes, housing rents and vehicle taxes increasing. However, in February prices rose only 0.6% year-on-year with lower costs for day care, used cars, mobile phones and gasoline helping to keep the consumer price rise in check.

Chemical Spill Clean-up Complete

In Mäntyharju, east Finland, work has been completed to clear up a chemical spill. The accident happened last weekend when chemicals leaked from a railway freight car. Train traffic had been suspended on the route while rescue crews were cleaning up the area, but trains should be back running again on Friday afternoon. Freight traffic is already running through the site. Approximately 35,000 liters of chemicals spilled on the ground at Mänyharju from a Russian freight train.

Ruisrock Sells Out In Record Time

Turku’s biggest summer festival has sold out its ticket allocation in record time. Tickets for Ruisrock went on sale last November, and organisers expect more than 105,000 people to be there from 6th to 8th July. The number of festival goers has increased every year from 2014 to 2017, and organisers caution that tickets can only be bought from official outlets, and that there could be risks of fake tickets bought from anywhere else. This year the Turku festival has attracted top international performers like The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa and NERD as well as Finnish acts Cheek, Alma, Haloo Helsinki, JVG, Kaija Koo and Sunrise Avenue. Ruisrock’s arts and restaurant programme will be announced later in the spring.

Friday Morning Weather

There’s sunshine across the whole country on Friday morning, with temperatures above zero almost everywhere as well! The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI forecasts clear blue skies with temperatures ranging from +6C in Åland to -3C near Kilpisjärvi in north east Lapland. However most of the country can expect temperatures around +4C to start the weekend.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday 13th April 2018 / Credit: FMI