Government Halts Electric Bike Scheme
The Ministry of Transport has put the brakes on a scheme to give €400 subsidies to buy electric bikes which was due to come into force this summer. The reason is political opposition to the scheme, which was intended to promote use of lower-emission transport in Finland. While Transport Minister Ann Berner (Centre) supported the plan, Finance Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) was against it, and the third wheel of the government coalition the Blues were luke warm on the idea, believing it mostly benefited wealthier people living in cities.
Restaurant Group Bought
Some of the capital region’s best-known restaurants are going to have a new owner. Royal Restaurants, which owns Hanko Sushi, Pizzarium, Sandro, Savoy, Löyly and Teatteri, has been bought over by Group Restamax for around €90 million. The deal is expected to be finalised this summer. Restamax says it aims to grow aggressively outside of Finland, and now owns 11 restaurants in Copenhagen. Restamax already owns 130 restaurants in Finland, including brands like Wayne’s Coffee, Bella Roma and Colorado Bar & Grill, with locations from Hanko in the south west of the country to Levi in Lapland.
Gas Pipeline Permit Granted
The Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland has granted a permission under the Water Act this morning, for the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Two seabed pipes going between Russia and Germany will pass through Finnish waters. The preparation for the installation is due to being this spring, and the pipes will be in use already at the end of next year. But Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel says the project must take political factors into account.
Chemical Spill Clean-Up Starts Today
The Finnish Transport Agency will start work today cleaning up a chemical spill at the Mäntyharju tanker site in east Finland. The spill happened over the weekend and has caused changes to transport schedules in the region. Accident investigators are on the scene, where chemicals leaked from the freight wagon of a train, and sparked a major chemical spill response by rescue crews. Local politicians say they had no idea that such hazardous chemicals were being stored nearby.
Thursday Morning Weather
It’s another bright sunny morning for most of the country according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI, although the east and north can expect some cloud cover. Temperatures are a few degrees above freezing for most of the southern part of the country, and in the far north. But expect temperatures a few degrees below freezing on the eastern border and southern Lapland as well.