Winter weather grips the country
It’s a return to winter across the whole country this morning, with temperatures below freezing pretty much everywhere. Up to 10cm of snow fell overnight in Kuhmo and Puolanka, with 5cm of fresh snow overnight in North Karelia. This morning the snow continues in eastern parts of the country including Kainuu and North Karelia. Watch out for dangerous driving conditions in Northern Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Päijät-Häme, Central Finland and Kymenlaakso. If you’ve already switched over to summer tyres be extra cautious on the roads in those areas as well as Uusimaa, south west Finland and Kanta-Häme today as temperatures dropped overnight making road surfaces icy.
Report: America tries to remove climate change references from Rovaniemi Declaration
The Washington Post newspaper says that the USA wants to remove references to climate change from an Arctic Council statement that will be known as the Rovaniemi Declaration. Arctic Council foreign ministers are meeting in the Finnish town next Monday and Tuesday, and one aim is to release a statement, which is unanimously agreed between all sides, to mark the event. However the US and particularly President Donald Trump are known for their climate change skepticism and diplomatic sources tell the newspaper that the US administration doesn’t want to include any language in the statement that could be interpreted as a joint commitment to curb the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Finnish officials says negotiations on the text of the declaration are still ongoing.
Delays for Helsinki – Turku train travel this morning
Passengers on VR trains between Helsinki and Turku this morning will likely face some delays. Damage to the electrics on the track between Kauklahti and Kirkkonummi means that local trains have been replaced by buses during the night and early morning, but as repairs are carried out there will be single track traffic on that particular part of the line meaning delays are almost inevitable between 07:00 and 12:00 noon.
New seating arrangement for parliament
It sounds like a classroom argument, but… today politicians will vote on new seating arrangements in parliament. And rather predictably not everyone is happy. The proposed new seats are modeled on the European Parliament and Nordic Council and would, for example, place the Finns Party on the right hand side of the parliament chamber. The Finns are not amused about the idea of sitting somewhere new and could oppose the plan when it is voted on today. If the plan gets approved, everyone will have new seats on Tuesday.
Survey: 41% of Finns want to scrap Russia sanctions
A survey this morning for Rural Future newspaper shows that some 41% of Finns think EU sanctions against Russia should be dropped – if Russia drops sanctions against the EU. Only 27% of people questioned in the newspaper’s survey are against abolishing sanctions. Half of those living in the countryside, residents of eastern and northern Finland, and Finns Party supporters are in favour of dropping sanctions against Russia. The Kantar-TNS survey interviewed more than 1000 people between 18th and 24th April. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
Friday morning weather
Here’s a snapshot of how the weather looks on Friday morning: