‘Active Model’ Hit By Early Problems
The government’s new ‘active model’ of employment has been hit with early implementation problems, after regional Employment and Economic Development Offices didn’t receive instructions on time from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, on how to make the new system work. The offices were forced to wait until February before the Ministry stated exactly on what terms unemployment benefit cuts could be avoided. The controversial ‘active model’ is a new government scheme to cut unemployment benefits from people who don’t go on job interviews, do some sort of voluntary or entrepreneur work, or attend a job training course in a certain period of time. Critics have described it as a ‘punishment’, saying the measures are too harsh, and pointed out many reasons why someone might not be able to meet the criteria to avoid having their benefits cuts.
Overnight Fire Destroys Warehouse
An overnight fire in Helsinki caused extensive damage to a warehouse and cargo truck in Helsinki’s Tattarinsuo neighbourhood, near Malmi Airport. Officials say the alarm was raised about 03:00 at the 900 square metre industrial building, where the fire was already burning and threatening to spread. Ten fire trucks were sent to the scene. Police say they’re investigating the fire as a possible arson attack.
Helsinki Metro – Possible Delays
There’s potential ongoing delays for commuters traveling on Helsinki’s metro system this morning. Trains stopped for almost an hour this morning after an incident with a train at Sörnäinen station in east Helsinki. HSL says services have now resumed.
Police Patrol Checks This Week
Police in Finland are conducting extra checks on drivers this week, to make sure rules of the road like not using mobile phones, and buckling up your seatbelt are properly enforced. Police say there’s a particular road danger for the elderly and children, and that the risk of accidents increases if car drivers are focusing on something else other than traffic.
South Finland Logging Activity Mapped
A new project by the Finnish Nature League highlights the amount of logging that has taken place in south Finland over the last decade. Previously, the information was kept secret, but EU transparency rules meant the logging details had to be released, and the Nature League was able to plot all the logging activity on a map to show the scale of the issue. Campaigners say the logging, and certain types of forest management, have had a huge impact on wildlife in the south, with several bird species and flying squirrels showing serious decline in numbers. Some of the issues that wildlife groups say needs to be resolved include leaving more old-growth trees in newly planted areas, and having more continuous forests to encourage biodiversity.
Monday Morning Weather
Monday morning sees a big divide in temperatures across the country, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. In Kilpisjärvi in northern Lapland, expect temperatures as low as -23C this morning. While in Helsinki in the south, temperatures could warm up above freezing for the first time in more than a month. The weather stays fairly mild and partly cloudy across the southern half of the country and into central Finland. But once you hit Oulu, morning temperatures drop to -11C this morning and stay below zero in the north, with snow forecast across Lapland as well.