Lapland’s Extreme Cold Weather Continues
There are severe cold weather warnings in place for Lapland today. The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI says cold temperatures will plunge as low as -30C, with snow forecast in south and central Lapland. In other parts of Finland, the temperatures will range from a mild -4C in Åland to -20C in Vaasa. But for the majority of the country expect negative double digits today as the cold front continues. There’s sunshine and clear skies forecast for much of the south of the country, with snow in central and eastern parts.
Working Life Changes Not Being Met By Childcare Provisions
The need for municipal childcare is expected to increase in the next few years, especially to cope with demand from people who work non-traditional shifts. A study of workers in service industries showed increased weekend and night work was not being matched by a change in the child care being offered, and that not all municipalities have been able to meet the needs of shift workers. An expert on childcare suggests that more places could be made available for example in large shopping centres for worker’s children, to make arrangements more convenient.
New Parliament Speakers Elected Today
The spring session of parliament begins today with some important administrative decisions, as new speakers are elected. The speaker of parliament is currently Maria Lohela (Blue) who was chosen when she was part of the Finns Party, and they were the second largest party in parliament. However since the Finns split last summer, the Blue Reform party have only 20 MPs, and as parliamentary tradition says the second largest party usually fills the speaker role, it will be someone from the National Coalition Party who now gets the job. One front runner is Interior Minister Paula Risiko. The selection takes place at 12 noon.
Foreign Minister In USA Visit
Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini will visit the USA this week, taking part in events in Washington D.C., including discussions about Arctic issues and Finnish Church aid. Finland is the current chair of the Arctic Council. Soini will also participate in a prayer breakfast organised by the US Congress, where the US President has traditionally spoken. This will be the third time that Soini, a Roman Catholic, will attend the prayer breakfast.
Runeberg Day Celebrated
Finns commemorate the life and work of national poet JL Runeberg today – with cake. The poet, who lived in the 1800s, is responsible for writing the words to the Finnish national anthem, and penned some of the country’s most celebrated literary works. Traditionally, almond-flavoured Runeberg cake is enjoyed on the anniversary of his birthday.