Morning Headlines: Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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

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Laura Huhtasaari Interview

Finns Party presidential candidate Laura Huhtasaari says she’s won’t condemn individual supporters who have racist or extremist views, but she doesn’t approve of that sort of ideology. She denied that she is the preferred candidate of Finnish racists. In a Tuesday morning English-language interview with News Now Finland and MTV Uutiset, Huhtasaari said she wants more permanent borders, to stop people coming in – she said there was a risk of terrorists arriving. She said Finland should have an immigration policy similar to Australia or Switzerland. Turning to foreign trade, Huhtasaari said it was important to promote Finnish business in markets like Asia. But she was unable to name the Chinese Foreign Minister nor South Korean President, individuals who could be key interlocutors if she becomes President of Finland. Huhtasaari added that she is going to beat right wing rival Paavo Väyrynen in Sunday’s election. You can see the full interview later this morning on our website and social media channels.

Advance Voting Ends

Today is the last day to vote in advance in the presidential election. Early voting has been open since Wednesday 17th January, and the next chance to vote is on election day itself, Sunday 28th January. If you still plan to vote today, you will need to take a photo ID like a driving license or passport. There are hundreds of advance polling stations in places like shopping centres and libraries. The Ministry of Justice website has a list of all the advance voting locations.

Call To Increase EU Membership Fee

The outgoing head of Jyrki Katainen’s Brussels cabinet says he hopes Finland will be willing to increase its EU membership fee, to make up for lost revenues when Britain leaves. Juho Romakkaniemi, who will soon return to Finland as head of the Central Chamber of Commerce, has worked in the Finnish Commissioner’s office at the European Commission. The Commission has proposed increasing the budget to 1.1% of the EU’s aggregate gross domestic product per year. Romakkaniemi hopes that Finland will support the proposal.

Union Leaders Meet For Protest Plan

Leaders from the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK are meeting today to come up with a plan to protest new government measures that they say unfairly punish unemployed people. The so-called ‘active model’ cuts benefits for unemployed people if they don’t do some sort of work, go on a course, or apply for a job within a certain period of time. SAK federation members are planning a large protest in Helsinki’s Senate Square on 2nd February. Today’s meeting will show how willing SAK members are to support strikes on that day as well.

Tuesday Morning Weather

There’s cloudy weather, frost and some snowfall throughout the country today, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. In western parts of the country, temperatures range from -2°C to -12°C. In the east, temperatures are between -10°C and -20°C. In the north of Finland expect temperatures as low as -25°C. There are treacherous road condition warnings in place for Northern Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Ranua, Posio, Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Salla, Kittilä, Sodankylä, Pelkosenniemi, Savukoski, Inari and Utsjoki.