Decision Day For EU Institutions
A secret vote in Brussels today will decide which European city will become the new home of the prestigious European Medicines Agency. Helsinki has bid for it, but is considered an unlikely option. Nineteen cities have bid to host the agency, which is moving out of London due to Brexit. It would bring hundreds of high level jobs, and be a boost for local hotels, with dozens of conference meetings every year, and bring a financial injection to the local economy as well. But in a blow to the Finnish capital, a report last month said that more than 50% of European Medicines Agency staff would quit if Helsinki was chosen to be the new host city. Helsinki already hosts the European Chemical Agency, and the city’s bid had focused on the benefits of co-locating the two agencies.
On Presidential Campaign Trail
Politicians are hitting the campaign trail, trying to encourage voters to support them in the Presidential election to be held at the end of January. There’s nothing too glamorous about the process – which finds them standing outside shopping centres on cold rainy days; visiting market squares; schools and community halls to meet members of the public and answer questions. We caught up with three candidates who want to be Finland’s next President this weekend as they campaigned in different parts of the country. Read more at our original story here.
Länsimetro’s Monday Commute
Officials say the Helsinki-Espoo western metro extension Länsimetro has coped well with its first Monday morning commuter rush. Trains are on schedule and everything is going as planned, according to officials. Road traffic volumes remain unchanged this morning coming into the capital from the west. The new section of track, serving eight stations in western Helsinki and out into Espoo opened on Saturday with tens of thousands of people riding the new metro this weekend.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Human rights and activist groups in Finland are marking the Transgender Day of Remembrance today, which highlights the issues of violence against trans persons. According to Transgender Europe, some 325 trans people have been murdered around the world during this year. In Finland. human rights organisations are organising a candlelit vigil for victims of violence in Helsinki on the steps of Parliament, and also in Lahti and Mikkeli. Finnish NGOs have called on the government to ensure its policies would commit to eliminating discrimination against trans people.
Monday Morning Weather
The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI warns about dangerous driving conditions due to ice on the roads. The warning applies to North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. In addition, driving conditions are poor in many parts of western Lapland. Temperatures in the far north dip as low as -20°C this morning, and there’s snow forecast in parts of Central Finland with the temperature hovering just below freezing. In the west coast and also the capital city region, expect temperatures just a few degrees above zero, with continued rain.