Parliament’s Booze Vote Today
The Finnish parliament will vote today on whether stronger alcohol can be sold in shops. The government proposes raising the strength of beers, long drinks and cider that can be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores from 4.7% to 5.5%. At present, anything above 4.7% must be sold in the government-run Alko monopoly stores. However the Social Affairs and Health Committee has objected to the governments proposal.
Court Appeal for Neo-Nazi
Helsinki Court of Appeals will hear the case of Jesse Eppu Oskari Torniainen, a member of the now-banned Nordic Resistance Movement. He was sentenced to two years in prison for an assault on a man last year at a demonstration outside Helsinki’s Central Railway Station. The man died a week later in hospital. The court found no evidence that Torniainen was guilty of the man’s death, and will hear from Torniainen himself, plus two other witnesses during the appeal.
Strong Productivity Growth Boosts Economy
The current strong growth in Finland’s economy is based on positive productivity. OP financial group’s chief economist Reijo Heiskanen says that labour productivity has grown by more than 2.5% this year, but estimates that it will slow down a little bit next year. Weak productivity is one of the main reasons why the economic downturn continued in Finland for so long after the global financial crisis came to an end. Productivity collapsed when Nokia mobile phone manufacturer ended in Finland. OP’s Heiskanen says that as the economy moves forward, new workers are needed, and also estimates that various innovations and investments, such as robotics, will allow productivity growth in the long term.
Christmas Charity Collections
The Salvation Army’s traditional Christmas charity collection begins today. Money is used to help poor families, young people, marginalised people and the elderly. This year is the Salvation Army’s 111th Christmas collection campaign. It started in 1906 in different parts of Helsinki, and has now spread to 30 locations across Finland. The money is used for distributing food donations, to buy clothes and gift cards for those in need.
Friday Morning Weather
Snow mixed with rain will continue to fall in southern Finland until Saturday morning, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. In the capital city region overnight, there were 4cm to 7cm of snow. In Turku, 3cm. As the temperature rises, snow will turn to hail or rain. Driving today is bad in the eastern parts of the country. Snow spreads more evenly towards the north, reaching norhtern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu by midnight. In Lapland, there’s only minimal snow forecast today.