Senior Finnish Diplomat Accused In ‘MeToo’ Scandal
Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is getting embroiled in a ‘MeToo’ scandal. In a report this morning, tabloid newspaper Iltalehti reports that two women at the Finnish Consulate in New York have signed a written statement accusing Consul General Manu Virtamo of inappropriate treatment in the workplace and sexual harassment. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the matter has been looked at as part of an internal investigation. Virtamo himself admits hugging staff and making comments about appearance, but says they didn’t reach the definition of sexual harassment.
Active Model Numbers Flop
Less than half the recipients of unemployment benefit have completed the terms & conditions of the ‘active model’ during the early part of the year. According to new figures from social security agency KELA, just 46% of people fulfilled the conditions required to keep on getting their full unemployment benefits. At the start of the year the government introduced a controversial new rule that deducts benefits from unemployed people if they don’t apply for jobs, do some work, or take courses within a certain period of time. Some campaigners against the new system, which was introduced at the start of the year, have described it as ‘punishment’ for unemployed people. Similarly, 54% of people who receive KELA’s basic daily allowance or labor market support have not fulfilled the conditions to receive the full amount. This means that their unemployment benefit will be cut from the beginning of April.
President Niinistö Attends EU Summit
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is in Brussels today for a summit with other EU leaders. The meeting will be chaired by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief Fereica Mogherini and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani. According to Niinistö’s office, the discussions will focus on European security, the EU’s external relations and Arctic issues. Finland joined many other EU countries this week by taking action against Russia over the use of chemical weapons to try and kill a former Russian double agent in the UK. Finland is currently the chair of the Arctic Council. President Niinistö visited Brussels last November 2016.
Sex Harassment Report
Young disabled people, and those with foreign backgrounds, are more likely to experience sexual harassment than other young people in Finland. That’s the findings of an extensive school health survey conducted in spring 2017, with the results published today. Around 20% of children in 8th and 9th grade has experienced sexual harassment during the previous year. The experiences of sexual harassment were more common if the young person or their parents were born abroad; or if the young person had a physical or cognitive impairment.
Wednesday Morning Weather
Even though technically it’s spring time, be prepared for another chilly, snowy day across much of the country, even if the skies will mostly blue sunny and blue. The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI forecasts snow flurries around Tampere, Jyväskylä and in the south east border region with temperatures around -7°C to -9°C in those areas. The south, south west and capital city area can expect partially sunny weather, with temperatures at -1°C to -7°C. There’s more sunshine on the north west coast and into Lapland, with temperatures dropping down to -10°C.