Basic income experiment results
The government has started to unveil the results of a two year basic income experiment this morning at an event which continues for several hours. Two thousand people were randomly selected for the project, and received a regular monthly income of €560 whether they found a job or not. The government’s preliminary findings conclude that the project did not increase employment, but the people who received the money felt better at the end of the experiment than those in a control group who did not receive any monthly basic income. Finland’s flirtation with basic income was the first large scale experiment of its kind in the world but was hit with problems from the start, with experts concerned the test group was too small, and unemployed – whereas the theory behind basic income is that every member of society gets it: people with jobs and those without. The government already announced it would not continue the basic income experiment beyond the end of 2018. Read some expert analysis about Finland’s basic income experiment at our website.
One dead in level crossing accident
One person has been killed at a level crossing near Kuopio. The accident happened when a freight train collided with a passenger car just before midnight. Rescue Services say the car was dragged several hundred metres at the unguarded level crossing. The man driving the car was killed in the accident. The freight train, carrying empty wagons, was heading to Joensuu at the time of the crash and a VR team is clearing the accident site.
No state funeral for Matti Nykänen
There will be no state funeral for Finnish ski jump legend Matti Nykänen. The four time Olympic champion died in the early hours of Monday morning and there had been calls from some quarters, lead by Sports Minister Samp Terho (Blue), to hold a state funeral. However Terho says that Nykänen’s family would prefer a small, private funeral for the 55 year old. At least one politician, Jyväskylä MP Sinuhe Wallinheimo (NCP) to erect a statue of Nykänen in his home town.
Parliament vote on government’s elderly care
Politicians are voting in parliament today on a no-confidence vote in how the government handles care for the elderly. The interpellation has been brought by opposition MPs after recent revelations of sub-standard care for older people in nursing homes. At least one person is thought to have died as a direct result of negligence, and the opposition sees a weakness in the government coalition over the issue. The National Coalition Party in particular have faced calls that they don’t care enough about Finland’s older people, as they have been holding out on siding with other parties over a new law that would increase the carer-to-patient ratio in nursing homes.
First Eurovision song released today
Artists Darude and Sebastian Rejman have released their first of three news songs in contention to be selected as Finland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry. The radio-friendly track is called ‘Release Me’ and features DJ Darude’s music production with Rejman’s vocals. Although there’s an up-tempo beat, the vocals are sung fairly slowly, with a repetitive chorus. You can watch the video for ‘Release Me’ at this link. The next two entries will be released on consecutive Fridays with a live show in Turku at the beginning of March where the public and juries will vote for the song to represent Finland in Tel Aviv in May. There are just 99 days left until the annual song competition, organised by the European Broadcasting Union EBU, gets underway.
Lahti ski games begin
Competitors from all around the world are gathering in Lahti today for the 94th ski games and FIS Nordic World Cup competition which is taking place this weekend. Events include ski jumping, Nordic combined, cross country individual and team races. There are more than 250 athletes from 20 different countries heading to Lahti for this year’s competition including some of the biggest names in winter sport including Finnish Olympic gold medalist Iivo Niskanen looking for more glory on home territory.
WATCH: New airport terminal ready for take-off
Helsinki Airport will debut a brand new terminal space for long haul passengers this month. ‘Aukio’ is designed to be a first impression of Finland showcasing design, natural wood and high tech innovations to add more facilities, more shops and more restaurants. There’s also new baggage carousels and the country’s first full body security scanner to help with passenger flow. “It’s an experience when you come to Finland, and come to Aukio first” says Katja Siberg, Finavia’s VP of Customer Service. One of the highlights of the new terminal is a huge video screen 75m long and 2m high which shows images of Finland’s landscapes. Read more, and watch a video tour of the new airport terminal at our original story here.
Friday morning weather
Its a snowy start to the day across Central Lapland with temperatures in the region ranging from -30°C in the north to -11°C in the south. The rest of the country is surprisingly mild with temperatures -7°C in Oulu; -2°C in Jyväskylä; +1 in Turku; and around zero in Lappeenranta and also Helsinki and the capital city region.