Morning headlines: Friday 21st February 2020

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

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Poll: Almost 2 out of 3 Finns support Sanna Marin’s government

A new poll commissioned by Lännen Media finds that 64% of Finns say they’re satisfied with the work of Sanna Marin’s SDP-lead five party coalition government. The survey finds that two thirds of women and more than half of men are either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the government. In the same survey undertaken during November when Antti Rinne was the prime minister just 37% were satisfied – even though there’s the same parties in government, and it’s following the exact same policy programme. The survey was carried out by Taloustutkimus which interviewed around a thousand people in mid-February.

Tampere awards millions in cultural grants

The City of Tampere has awarded €14.6 million euros in grants for cultural activities in the city this year. In addition, there’s another half a million euros available for education initiatives for young people. The largest single grant of €6.63 million has been given to Tampere House, home of Tampere Opera. Tampere Theater gets €2.13 million and Tampere Workers’ Theater gets €2.15 million. The remaining grants range from €10,000 to €730,000 to a range of different groups and initiatives working with cultural activities in the city.

EU leaders continue budget talks

EU leaders including Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) are continuing their budget talks on Friday after discussions continued late into the night in Brussels. President of the European Council Charles Michel met with national leaders individually, and as those talks went in order of the rotating EU Presidency it meant that Croatia was first in line, and Finland was last in line – so the talks only finished at 08:00 on Friday morning. Generally speaking there’s a big difference in budget positions between the countries who give more to the EU’s budget than they receive, and who want to keep budget increases to a minimum; and countries who, broadly speaking, take more money than they contribute who are worried about cuts to their funding. Finland has advocated a middle ground that tries to keep both sides happy, but Sanna Marin has been critical of Charles Michel for trying to set the budget increases too high. Read more at our original story here.

Finnish pulled oats being launched in America

A very Finnish invention, pulled oats, are being launched in America thanks to a distribution deal between parent company Gold&Green and Sysco in the USA. Sysco sells, markets and distributes food products to restaurants, government agencies and other mass caterers in America with more than 650,000 customer locations. Finnish pulled oats have been a big hit in the domestic market in recent years, providing a meat-free alternative to chefs. In 2016 Gold&Green was bought over by Paulig.

Friday morning weather 

It’s a wet start across much of the country for Friday morning. The precipitation falls as rain, sleet or freezing rain across southern and central areas, the southwest and the Ostrobothnia coast as well with temperatures just a few degrees above freezing. In Lapland there’s snow in the forecast from Kemi to Inari with the temperatures much warmer than Thursday, up to -4°C. Along the southern coast there’s strong onshore winds around 15 meters per second so it will feel blustery at times in coastal areas including the capital city region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 21st February 2020 / Credit: FMI