New Centre Party leadership poll shows shift
A new poll on Friday morning for Helsingin Sanomat newspaper shows a shift in the Centre Party leadership race. On Saturday, party delegates will choose between Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen and Economic Affairs Minister Katri Kulmuni to be their new leader. The new poll shows Kulmuni slightly ahead among the Finnish public with 25% support, and Kaikkonen just behind on 21%. However, almost half – 48% – could not say which was their favourite candidate. The Centre Party have been tumbling down the opinion polls in recent months and look like they could be in danger of entering single-digit territory among voters. At the last election in 2015 they were the most popular political party and formed the government under Prime Minister Juha Sipilä who steps down from his role as party chairman tomorrow.
Secure atmosphere is the strength of Finland’s early education
A secure atmosphere with a safe place to play are the strengths of early childhood education in Finland, according to the National Educatoin Evaluation Centre Karvi. However, the organisation warns that the quality of education varies greatly, with some kindergartens and family day care groups offering poorly developed experiences for children. “Only half of the staff reported that children read literature every day. The poor position of the arts and music as part of every child’s early childhood education day also raises questions” says Karvi Counselor Laura Repo.
Police shoot man in Tampere gun incident
Armed police in Tampere shot and wounded a man who was threatening them with two weapons. The incident happened on Thursday evening on Takojankatu in the city’s Kaleva neighbourhood. “The police got to the scene, and the man turned and threatened the police. The police shot, the situation is over” Detective Chief Inspector Jari Kinnunen told local media. Eyewitnesses report seeing a lot of blood at the scene, the suspect was injured and taken to hospital for treatment. Police are expected to give more information about the incident on Friday. Any officer-involved shooting in Finland is independently investigated.
Finland beats Greece for 9th home victory
The Finnish men’s national football team have notched up an impressive 9th home victory in a row. On Thursday night they beat Greece 1-0 in Tampere in the 2020 UEFA Euro qualifiers. The only goal of the match came from the boot of Teemu Pukki in the 52nd minute when he scored from the penalty spot. The result puts Finland in second place in Group J with 12 points from five games, just behind Italy and clear of third place team Bosnia and Herzegovina. The top two teams in the group will advance to next year’s European Championships.
Friday morning weather
It’s a rainy start to the weekend for many parts of the country this morning. There’s widespread rain across Lapland, parts of north Central Finland and around the capital city region as well. The best of the sunshine can be found in the south west and Turku, Tampere and Pirkanmaa and Jyväskylä. It still feels quite mild for this time of year with temperatures ranging from +9°C to +13°C in Lapland; +11°C to +15°C across central areas and +12°C to +16°C across southern and eastern parts of the country on Friday morning.