Poll: National Coalition Party falls, Finns Party gains
A new survey this morning from public broadcaster Yle shows a big drop in support for the National Coalition Party down 2.3%. It’s being attributed to the party’s stance on elderly care, with analysts saying Petteri Orpo‘s NCP looks less than sympathetic in its elderly care policies. The Social Democrats are down as well 1.1% while leader Antti Rinne is on sick leave but continue to hold onto the top spot as the country’s most popular party, something that’s been reflected in many surveys over the past year. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä‘s Centre Party slipped down another 0.5% continuing his party’s fall in the polls. The Greens are in fourth place up 1% on 14.6%. The other big movers are the right wing Finns Party who gained 1.8% to secure fifth place in the survey on 12%. The recent rise of the anti-immigrant party is being attributed to sex abuse scandals involving asylum seekers in Oulu and Helsinki.
Expect more train delays today
Snowfall around the country is still causing problems for VR trains. Although most services are running normally, some long distance services between Turku and Tampere, Kuopio and Jyväskylä, and Oulu and Kuopio have been canceled already today. Snow moving from the west to east during the course of the day will bring up to 5cm of fresh accumulation. Snow, plus cold temperatures have damaged gears, electrical and compressed air systems on the railways.
EU Ministers discuss border controls & asylum
Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen (NCP) is meeting his EU counterparts in Bucharest today, to discuss the Schengen area and asylum issues. A number of Schengen countries including Denmark, Sweden and Norway still have internal border controls, put in place during the height of the migrant crisis a few years ago. Ministers will discuss how they can get back to what Schengen is supposed to be – borderless Europe. Mykkänen and his colleagues will also be discussing an arrangement to evenly distribute asylum seekers around the EU, whereas now most of them are arriving in southern countries.
Knee surgery for Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu
Ice hockey star Mikko Koivu is out for the rest of the NHL season due to a knee injury. Koivu, who captains the Minnesota Wild team, injured his knee in Tuesday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. He’ll need surgery to repair the damage, and is set to go under the knife already on Friday. The 35 year old played his Finnish hockey in Turku before being picked up in the 2001 NHL draft. He won gold with Finland in the 2011 World Championships when he was the team captain.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a cold and foggy start across Lapland with snow forecast as well in central and north west parts of the region. Temperatures between -18°C and -24°C. It’s much warmer at -7°C in Central Finland but with more snow in the forecast. The best chance of sunshine this morning is along the eastern border where it should be a brisk -12°C to start the day. There’s also a glimpse of sun in the capital city region although it’s fairly overcast with some morning snow. The temperature rises just above freezing in Åland and hovers around zero in south west Finland.