Morning Headlines: Friday 23rd February 2018

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00

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Altia To Be Listed On Stock Exchange

Finland’s state alcohol company Altia is to be listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. When the listing is completed, the state will still own at least one third of the company. The government had announced last autumn that they would look at the possibility of listing Altia on the stock exchange, and they’re now moving forward with the plan. Altia’s turnover last year was around €360 million and it has about 700 employees. The company’s brands include Koskenkorva and Blossa. It has a headquarters in Helsinki, a distillery in the village of Koskenkorva and factories in Rajamäki. Koskenkorva vodka is sold in 30 countries, and sales will soon start in the USA.

More MEPs For Finland?

The leaders of 27 EU countries meeting in Brussels today are expected to give a green light to at least one more MEP for Finland. Politicians are carving up the 73 European Parliament seats that Britain currently have, and redistributing them for after Brexit. Finland currently has 13 MEPs and is likely to get one additional spot.

Demand For Human Trafficking Help Grows

The number of human trafficking victims seeking help from authorities in Finland is at a record level, according to Karjalainen newspaper this morning. During 2017, 127 new applicants joined the system – to reach a total of 322 people who needed help by the end of last year. Statistics show there were people from 22 nationalities who had been caught up in human trafficking, including Finns, and that they’re evenly split between men and women. Most of the cases of trafficking in Finland are work-related trafficking, where the person is forced to work in bad conditions with poor payment.

Housing Markets Boom

The demand for more housing is growing strongly in the Helsinki capital city region, Turku and Tampere according to mortgage lender Hypo, and prices are rising. Other parts of the country like Oulu, Kuopio and Kyväskylä are developing quickly as well. Hypo’s new market review, unveiled this morning, says this coming year will see the busiest housing market in a decade, with house prices expected to rise by 1.5% this year and by 2% next year. For the capital city region, rises of 3% are expected for both 2018 and 2019. According to Hypo’s research, a second wave of urbanisation is taking place in Finland, where competition is between cities to attract residents, and not between cities and rural areas.

Olympic Update: Finns In Action

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are coming to a close this weekend, but there are still Finnish athletes in action. Figure skater Emmi Peltonen finished 20th in the women’s figure skating competition. Gold and silver went to Russian athletes, and a Canadian skater took the bronze. Peltonen was ranked 18th at the end of the short programme, which was her best performance of the season. And on the ice today, speed skaters Mika Poutala and Pekka Koskela are skating in the 1000 metre race which starts at 12 noon Finland time.

Friday Morning Weather

There’s already a driving warning in place for Satakunta this morning. The Finnish Transport agency says snowfall has made road surfaces treacherous, and urge caution. Meanwhile the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI warns about extreme cold weather continuing today. There’s also snow forecast for pretty much the whole country at various times today. Temperatures in the southern part of Finland range from -10°C in Helsinki to -17°C in Åland. In central and northern parts of Finland expect temperatures between -20°C in Jyväskylä down to -26°C in Kilpisjärvi in north west Lapland.