Morning headlines: Friday 8th November 2019

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

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Patients evacuated after overnight fire 

A dozen patients have been evacuated from a medical centre in Hanko after an overnight fire. Rescue crews received the alarm call around 04:00 on Friday morning, and when they arrived at the scene found a fire burning in the roof of the building. Patients inside were evacuated to Raseborg. By 07:00 the fire had been contained, but crews will remain there during the morning to make sure it is fully out. And investigation will get underway to determine the cause of the blaze.

The Brexit Brit in Tampere who finally became a Finn 

Stephen Baxter and his family are a textbook example of how EU citizens use their freedom of movement rights – but he’s so concerned about losing them after Brexit that he decided to become a Finnish national instead. Baxter first moved from north east England to Denmark age 22, and lived there for more than a decade. During that time he met his Finnish wife: moved to Tampere, started a family, and then went on a five year adventure living and working in Portugal before returning home to Finland again. Despite living so long in Finland he never had a need to get Finnish nationality but the probability of losing his rights to live and work in EU countries prompted him to go down the road of becoming a Finn. Read more about Stephen Baxter’s story in our original article here.

Postal union meets to consider strike action

The Union of Post and Logistics PAU will meet today to discuss their upcoming two week strike which is due to start on Monday. According to PAU talks lead by the national mediator ended on Thursday and won’t start again until next Wednesday. The union says no progress was made in the negotiations, and no settlement proposed. The strike has been called after Posti decided to switch the collective bargaining agreement of around 700 parcel service workers, which would result in salary cuts some up to 50%.

Only 25% of fathers take parental leave

New figures from Kela show that only 1-in-4 fathers in Finland are taking parental leave. In 2018 some 56,900 fathers received the benefit a slight decrease from the previous year, linked to the decreasing birth rate. Fathers who have a child take paternity and parental leave for an average of 36 working days, or about six weeks the latest figures show.

UK election: a guide to voting for Brits in Finland

There’s a general election on the horizon in the United Kingdom after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a national vote on 12th December. Britain goes to the polls to elect Members of Parliament in 650 constituencies, and the party with the most MPs will likely get the chance to form the next government – and shape what happens next with the UK’s departure from the European Union. “This means in effect that the Brexit process has been suspended until the election result is known” says Tom Dodd, the British ambassador to Finland in an online video message. So if you’re a British national in Finland, how can you vote? First you need to make sure you’re registered, then consider a postal or proxy vote. But the British Embassy is already warning that postal strikes make this an unreliable option. Find out more at our story here.

Friday morning weather

It’s another cold start to the day with temperatures in the north ranging from -12°C to -20°C and snow forecast across Lapland. Further south there’s snow into Ostrobothnia, Tampere, and in the south east as with temperatures ranging from -9°C in Oulu, to -6°C in Jyväskylä and around freezing in the capital city region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 8th November 2019 / Credit: FMI