Morning Headlines: Thursday 15th March 2018

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

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Finland Reacts Over Growing UK-Russia Tensions

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö says the country “is ready to give all its support and assistance to Great Britain” over a chemical attack that left a former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, and a British policeman, in hospital. “The use of military grade neurotoxins in the attempted murder […] is a shocking act and a very serious blow to international security” the president said in a statement. But how much help could Finland be asked to give UK? Under EU treaties, the UK could ask for coordinated help or sanctions from all 28 EU countries against Russia which could put Finland in a tricky position, as it tries to maintain good relations and open dialogue with its eastern neighbour. Experts say the government would have no choice but to respond to any request from Britain, but we might never know exactly how Finland could help. Read more at our original story here.

Nordea Annual Meeting

Banking group Nordea holds its annual general meeting in Stockholm today, and the most important item on the agenda is the controversial decision to move the group’s corporate headquarters to Helsinki. Nordea announced the move last September, but it still needs approval at today’s AGM from a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. The move is expected to be approved, and would take effect in October this year.

Industrial Output Grows In Q4

There’s more bright news for the economy this morning, with manufacturing showing an increase in the 4th quarter of last year. That’s according to new figures from Statistics Finland. Turnover was 6.7% higher than the year before, and net sales grew across all industrial sectors. The strongest growth was recorded in the chemical industry, where net sales grew by almost 10%. In the forest industry, sales were up almost 7% and in the metal industry net sales rose 6% year-on-year. The food industry recorded a 2.8% net sales growth as well.

Tourist Boom For Finland

Foreigners made a record number of trips to Finland last year, and spent 20% more money than in 2016! The latest figures from Business Finland are released this morning and show that the big spenders are tourists from China, who spend more than €1200 per traveler. Foreigners made a total of 8.3 million trips to Finland last year, and brought in more than €4 billion tourist revenues.

Thursday Morning Weather

It’s another cold, bright and sunny start to Thursday morning across the whole of the country. The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI forecasts snowfall in the east, west, and parts of Lapland, but apart from that, unbroken sunshine in most places. The temperatures will feel colder than the last few days, in Lapland they drop down to -20°C. In Central Finland between -10°C and -13°C. Along the west coast it could be a chilly -11°C but more mild in Åland at -4°C. In southern Finland and the capital city region expect temperatures at -9°C.