Morning Headlines: Wednesday 29th August 2018

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France’s Emmanuel Macron Visits Finland

French President Emmanuel Macron starts a two day visit to Finland today, and he’s looking for new friends in the north to shore up support for his plans to re-model the EU after Brexit. Macron will be hosted by President Niinistö, and also hold talks with Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, and visit Aalto University to learn about Finnish innovation culture. Macron has plans for more European integration, especially when it comes to economic matters and the Eurozone. He also seeks to push the Nordic region’s EU-friendly governments into being more vocal about their support for the union, ahead of European parliament elections next spring. Read more about Macron’s visit, the political objectives, and the links between France and Finland at our in-depth original story here.

Government Budget Talks Continue Today

Negotiations on next year’s budget are continuing today at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Helsinki, Kesäranta. Ministers and representatives of the three coalition parties – Centre, National Coalition Party, and Blue Reform – began arriving at Kesäranta already at 07:30 with hopes that fruitful discussions will lead to some agreement, and a press conference to announce the latest deals this afternoon. The government is expected to outline support for Finnish farmers, and more funding to protect the Baltic Sea. There aren’t expected to be any new tax measures on the table at this time, but government parties have stressed the need to continue with tight budgetary discipline. Finland’s economy is growing, but the state’s budget for next year is still in deficit.

Low Numbers Of Young People Using Bike Helmets

Only about one-in-three young people in Finland are using a bike helmet. That’s according to new research out today. But more than two-thirds of young people said they realise that wearing a bike helmet is at least somewhat necessary for cycle safety. About 60% of people who responded to the survey said they didn’t wear or use their own helmet, saying they were too difficult to carry around with them. The poll was carried out by Kantar TNS Oy and questioned more than 600 young people aged between 15 and 20.

Wednesday Morning Weather

It’s a bright, sunny and mild start to Wednesday morning for almost the whoole country. Only parts of north and west Lapland will begin the day with some cloud clover. In the south, temperatures are already reaching +16°C and in double digits in Lapland as well at +11°C. Enjoy it while you can because rain is on the way for Thursday.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 29th August 2018 / Credit: FMI