Morning Headlines: Wednesday 31st January 2018

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

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New Hope To End Bank Workers Dispute

National Conciliator Minna Helle has made a new proposal to financial sector workers to end a disagreement over employment terms. Bank workers started mediation back in December, and went on strike for two days in January protesting weekend working conditions. Now, Helle says she has submitted a proposed settlement, and wants the parties involved in the dispute to give an answer by 11:00 on Friday morning. There’s currently no more strike action threatened by bank workers, but they are refusing to do overtime.

Elisa Dials Up Big Profits

Finnish telecoms company Elisa reports an operating profit of €93m from October to December last year. That’s up from €76m a year before. Net sales rpse to €473m an improvement of 8.9% from 2016. According to CEO Veli-Matti Mattila, the company made their best results and turnover ever. Behind the result is strong growth in Elisa’s mobile services and acquisitions. Elisa’s Board of Directors proposes that the company distribute a dividend of €1.65 per share.

Sharp Drop In First Time Asylum Applications

The Finnish Immigration Service Migri reports a sharp drop in first time asylum applications in 2017. Last year some 2139 people made their first asylum applications in Finland, down from 4005 in 2016. Around 1800 people made a second asylum application to Finnish officials, and another 1062 cases were transferred to Finland from Italy and Greece under an EU scheme. About 40% of people who got asylum decisions were allowed to stay here, that’s up from 27% the year before. Migri says one of the reasons for the increase in approvals is the surge in asylum seekers presenting new grounds to have their application approved. The most common new ground was converting to Christianity, and claiming they would be at risk of persecution in their own country due to their new religion.

Popular Prime Ministers

The Chairman of the National Coalition Party, Finance Minister Petteri Orpo, would be the public’s favourite next Prime Minister. Left Alliance leader Li Andersson is the second favourite in a new popularity poll carried out by tabloid Ilta-Sanomat. The third most popular next Prime Minister is the current one, Juha Sipilä (Centre). But a full third of people who took part in the survey of 1000 people said they had no clue who they wanted to be the next PM, or preferred not to say. The survey was carried out by Kantar TNS in January. The margin of error is 3%.

Coastal Military Exercises

If you see or hear increased military air traffic today on the south and southwest coast, no need to panic, it’s just the military playing war games. The Air Force is carrying out coastal fleet air defence exercises today at bases in Turku and Kirkkonummi. Helicopters and light training aircraft take to the skies this morning, while Hawk training jets will be involved during the afternoon. The coastal fleet is responsible for monitoring and safeguarding territorial integrity at sea, protecting maritime traffic and fighting offshore attacks.

Super Blue Blood Moon

A rare lunar event should be visible in the far north of Finland today – if there’s not too much cloud cover. The ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ eclipse can be seen in its complete phase north of a line from Kokkola to Lappeenranta, with the best time between 15:00 and 17:00. The best eclipse views are in the extreme north of Lapland where there could be a full blackout. The moon can be viewed with the naked eye, no need for goggles. The current forecast is for partly cloudy skies.

Wednesday Morning Weather

There is snow forecast across most of the country today, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Temperatures in the north of Lapland will be down as low as -15°C while in Central Finland it ‘warms up’ to -8°C. If you’re in the Turku area this morning you’ll catch some sunshine, but the rest of Finland is fairly cloudy with temperatures in the capital city region around -7°C.