Strike hits services, businesses today
Tens of thousands of union workers are on strike today, to protest the government’s plans to make it easier for small businesses to fire people. Some of the main sectors impacted by the one day industrial action include transport, supermarkets, hospitals, schools and day care. The government has tried to head off the strike by softening its initial plans, but the President of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK tells News Now Finland that “our opinion will not change, as far as we do not consider this dismissal act fair in any way”. Read more in our story here.
Three people escape as car crashes into the sea
Two men and a woman have had a lucky escape in Helsinki after their car crashed into the sea. It happened around 01:00 this morning near a restaurant boat. When rescue crews arrived at the scene they had to search for a possible fourth person, due to uncertainties about how many people had been in the vehicle, but in the end concluded there were only three passengers. All three people on board got out of the water themselves, fire fighters say they were wet and shocked but did not need hospital treatment. This morning, the car is still at the bottom of the sea and will be pulled out later today.
Former PM Alex Stubb in bid to be ‘President of Europe’
Finland’s ex-Prime Minister says he’s ready to be the “next generation” of political leadership in Europe as he launches a bid to become the President of the European Commission. Speaking at a press conference in Strasbourg, Stubb said he would run a values-based campaign and go on a five week tour across Europe to sell himself to voters of the European People’s Party whose support he needs at their Helsinki conference in November. Political Editor Ryan Heath from Politico Europe says that if you don’t know anything about Stubb’s performance as Finland’s PM then “he is literally and metaphorically a very attractive candidate”. By contrast, Stubb’s rival for the EPP nomination to take Europe’s top job is a German MEP who is humble and “doesn’t try to shove his achievements or intellect down anyone’s throat” according to Heath. Read more in our story here.
Wednesday morning weather
It’s a bright start to Wednesday morning, but only if you live in Lapland, where the best of the sun can be found. But it’s also very cold there this morning with the temperatures dropping down to -6°C. Across much of the rest of the country in central Finland and down the eastern border there’s cloud cover and thick fog in many places. There’s some partial sunshine in southern Ostrobothnia and into Turku and the south west; while the capital city region starts the day with rain.