Morning headlines: Monday 20th May 2019

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Government negotiations enter 3rd week

Talks to form the next coalition government, chaired by Social Democrats leader Antti Rinne, are beginning again at the House of the Estates in Helsinki. This is the third week of negotiations between the SDP and Centre Party, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party. Rinne has said that there’s been clarity on the financial framework over the weekend, but that work still needs to be done to agree on issues around project financing, employment and taxation. There are 18 different working groups with politicians and party officials involved in the talks, as well as outside experts giving advice. Antti Rinne says his goal is for the talks to be completed by Friday, before Sunday’s European Parliament elections.

Finns Party Euro candidate pushes pro-Russia policies

A Finns Party candidate in the European Parliament elections says Finland should be a ‘neutral’ country and not allied with the west. In an interview with a pro-Kremlin media outlet, Olli Kotro says that Finland should leave the EU’s Schengen visa scheme and instead form a visa alliance with Russia. His comments come as Finns Party vice chair Laura Huuhtasaari was in Milan over the weekend meeting with leaders of far right parties from Italy, Austria and Germany in the hopes of forging a Europe-wide alliance. Several of those parties have had close ties with Russia, and France’s Marine Le Pen was forced to deny recently that her party had taken money from the Kremlin.

Finland beat France in ice hockey World Champs

Finland have moved back to the top of group A at the ice hockey World Championships after a convincing 3-0 victory over France on Sunday evening. It means that if Finland beats Germany on Tuesday they can stay top of the group and face the 4th place team from group B in the quarter finals – a potentially easier route to medal glory. The Lions scored once in each period at the game in Slovakia. Goals came from Joel KivirantaNiko Mikkola, and Jere Sallinen.

Most popular MEP candidates? 

Two politicians from the Green party, Ville Niinistö and Heidi Hautala are the most popular European Parliament election candidates. That’s according to a new poll in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper this morning, with 1000 people taking part in the survey. The third most popular candidate is Eero Heinäluoma from the Social Democrats. Advance voting in the European Parliament elections is underway at the moment, and continues only until Tuesday. After that the next chance to cast a vote is next Sunday on polling day.

Monday morning weather

It’s a mostly bright start to the day across Finland, and forecasters predict warmer weather as the day goes on, and into tomorrow as well. The best of the sunshine at first is in the south and south west, with temperatures in the capital city region starting the day in double digits at +14C. There’s bright sunshine in Turku and the south west, and down the eastern border as well. Inland in Lahti it’s already +18C this morning. In other parts of the country expect +9C in Lapland this morning; the chance of rain in Oulu; +15C across Central Finland; +18C down the south west coast.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 20th May 2019 / Credit: FMI