Morning Headlines: Monday 16th October 2017

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 08:00.

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Åland Autonomy

Independence activists in Åland have been watching events unfold in Catalonia, and say it doesn’t put them off wanting full independence some day for the island region. While only a minority of Ålanders vote for independence party Ålands Framdit, many are hopeful about a new autonomy bill that has taken years to negotiate with Finnish politicians, and should be sent to parliament early in 2018. It would see the possibility of new powers being devolved from Helsinki to Mariehamn. We interviewed the chairman of Ålands Framdit, and the Åland Premier Katrin Sjöberg for a story on island politics, autonomy, and the future of independence. Read our original story here.

Illegal Immigrants

A new study finds a growing number of illegal immigrants working in Finland in recent years. They’re mostly employed in the construction, restaurant and cleaning industries, and coming from countries outside the EU like Russia, or from Africa and Asia. However, another recent study shows that people who have been denied asylum in Finland are not staying here to work illegally in any large numbers. The definition of illegal work means someone who is working or living in Finland without a work or residence permit. The European Migration Network reveals that it is more common for people who are legally resident, to then work illegally – for example, in contravention of the conditions of their permits.

Blue Group Update

The Blue Group of MPs who splintered off from the Finns Party over summer will be heading to the Ministry of Justice this morning, to hand over the paperwork to make them an official political party. The 19 MPs, including five ministers and the Speaker of Parliament, have been operating as a parliamentary group, without the full weight of being a political party in their own right. They are also still part of the Finnish government. However, they’ve collected the signatures of 5,000 voters which was required before they could become a political party in their own right. Read more about the Finns Party split, and the formation of the Blues, in our original story here.

Turku Politics

It’s an important day ahead for local politics in Turku. This morning, the city council will discuss the 2018 budget. And in the evening, the council will elect a new mayor to take over from current mayor Aleksi Randell (NCP). The contenders are Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku; and Minna Arve, Managing Director of the Turku Chamber of Commerce.

Autumn Holidays Start

The first wave of schools begin their autumn holidays today. In Helsinki, Tampere, Vaasa, Jyväskyläs, Kuopio, Joensuu and Rovaniemi, school’s out for October holidays from this morning. In Turku, the autumn break starts on Thursday, while in other parts of Finland the holidays begin next Monday.

Monday Morning Weather

It’s another overcast start to Monday morning across much of the country according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Along parts of the south and south west coast expect stiff winds to keep the temperature feeling cooler than +12°C. Moving slightly north, there’s going to be some rain showers around Tampere and Jyväskylä first thing. A foggy start in places through central Finland, and cloudy in Lapland with temperatures around +2°C.