Peter Vesterbacka’s tunnel to Tallinn
Finnish entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka is getting ready to sell €100 tickets next month for a high speed underground rail link between Helsinki Airport and Tallinn Airport. The former Angry Birds front man says the train will travel at 300 kmph and be open for passengers by Christmas 2024, as part of his broad vision to link the two Baltic capitals as a gateway for Asian investment. “We’re making this the fastest growing metropolitan area in all of Europe, maybe even beyond […] the tunnel is a huge enabler” says Vesterbacka. The only problem is: there’s no financing, no planning permission and not a single cubic centimeter of soil has been excavated – and the Finnish and Estonian governments are moving ahead at a slower pace to plan their own tunnel linking the two cities. So what happens next? Read all about the two tunnels under the Baltic Sea at our original story here.
Nokia announces losses, saving efforts
Finnish tech giant Nokia has announced says it made a significant loss in the 3rd quarter. Latest figures out this morning show Nokia’s operating profits from July to September were 27% less than the same period a year ago. Now, the company says it is launching a savings programme designed to reduce costs by €700 million over the next two years. That will mean staff cuts, but the company isn’t saying yet how many jobs are at risk.
Security strike continues today
Some 8,500 security guards belonging to the PAM union are staging taking industrial action today. It’s day two of a three-day strike by the guards after talks on better pay and conditions collapsed. Some of the most visible areas to be impacted by the strike are train stations, with buildings closed across the country although VR is keeping the buildings open at larger stations. And at airports, Finavia advises to give yourself a full two hours for the security screening process after check-in. “The main problems is the need of people with a good set of social skills, language skills, good technological skills, also hopefully a skill set that they could help if a fire started, or use force in the correct professional way, and knows security planning. All this for just €1800 per month” says Toni, a 24-year-old security guard in Helsinki. Read more about the strike, and about life in one of Finland’s most visible low paid jobs at our original story here.
Finnish troops in NATO exercise
Some 600 Finnish military personnel are taking part in a huge NATO exercise which begins today in Norway. There’s 50,000 personnel in total taking part in Exercise Trident Juncture including 65 ships, 250 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles in what NATO calls its “biggest exercise in recent years”. Finns from the army, navy and air force are involved in the two week exercise to test the NATO countries’ and partners’ abilities to operate together in a time of conflict.
MM gold for Finnish wrestler
Finnish wrestler Petra Olli has won gold at the freestyle wrestling World Championships in Budapest. The 24-year-old become the first Finnish woman wrestler to win the title – the last man to win it was Marko Yli-Hannuksela back in 1997. Olli’s victory came after a thrilling final against a Canadian wrestler, with the result going to a video referee to make the final points decision, and after a lengthy weight Olli was crowned as the new World Champion, after previously winning silver in 2015.
Thursday morning weather
It’s another cold start to Thursday morning with temperatures below freezing across most of the country first thing – only the western coast will be spared! In Lapland, expect some snow with temperatures down to -6°C. There’s a lot of cloud cover as well, with the chance of more snow flurries in central Finland. The eastern border and capital city region are the most likely places to catch a glimpse of sunshine during the morning.