Morning Headlines: Monday 20th August 2018

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Unions Back Farming Support – But No EU Cash

Finnish unions SAK, STTK and Akava will support the government’s plans to give a cash boost to crisis-hit farmers. That’s according to a story this morning in Rural Future magazine. The government is offering support to drought-affected areas where agriculture has been hit by the hottest summer since the early 1960s, with little rainfall and temperatures routinely in the upper 20s. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä (Centre) announced last week that there would be new funds available in the autumn budget plan. However, Lännen Media reports today that a request from the Central Union of Agriculture Unions and Forestry Producers MTK to the EU for extra financial help has been rejected outright. Finnish farmers have suffered a year of tough weather conditions affecting crops. Last year a prolonged wet summer had a serious impact on their industry. The drought problem is so widespread that the EU apparently doesn’t have the money to help every country.

ICYMI: Turku’s Weekend Protests

Saturday was the first anniversary of the Turku stabbing attack which left two people dead and eight more injured. A failed asylum seeker from Morocco was convicted of carrying out the terror attack, inspired by radical Islamist groups in the Middle East. While the Turku City Council decided not to hold any special public events to mark the anniversary, some 300 far right protesters used the event to march through the city’s streets and promote their anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant message. Groups from Finland and Sweden joined in, lead by the Nordic Resistance Movement. Meanwhile, more than a thousand people joined an anti-Nazi and anti-racism rally in the city which denounced the far right actions. There was a heavy police presence in Turku and several arrests made on both sides. Read more at our original story here, or watch our video report here.

Finnish Researchers Awarded Space Prize Today

A group of 15 Finnish researchers are part of a team that will be receiving the prestigious Gruber Cosmology Prize in Vienna today. The $500,000 prize is awarded to the European Space Agency’s Planck consortium which works to map cosmic background radiation from the big bang that created the universe, and which is still detectable today. VTT and Aalto University developed a radio receiver used in the research programme. Other Finnish researchers from Helsinki University, DNA, and the Tuorla Observatory in Turku were also involved in the project, which was funded by Tekes, the Academy of Finland and VTT. Read more about how Finnish startups and scientists are part of the country’s space race at our original story here.

Monday Morning Weather

It’s a cooler start to Monday across the whole country, a trend that will continue throughout the week as temperatures struggle to hit +20°. The best of the sunshine on Monday morning is in the south, central, east and western parts of the country, with cloud over much of Lapland and some rain showers in the far north as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 20th August 2018 / FMI