Finland’s Eurovision Quest Begins
Performer Saara Aalto begins her quest for Eurovision victory this week. She’ll be appearing in the contest’s first semi final on Tuesday night hoping to be one of the ten tunes that qualifies for Saturday’s grand finale. Aalto’s song ‘Monsters’ is a high energy track with a stage performance in Lisbon to match, and she’s hoping to slay the monsters of Finland’s recent Eurovision entrants, who failed to progress to the final three years in a row. The popular Finnish singer is already on a high this week as her new album Wild Wild Wonderland hit the number one spot in the Finnish charts, and she’s giving a subtle nod to Finland’s last Eurovision winners Lordi with some special pyrotechnics in Portugal. Read more about Saara Aalto’s Eurovision journey in our original story here.
Serious Accidents In Turku & Oulu
Emergency crews have responded to serious overnight accidents, in Turku and Oulu. This morning, a passenger train hit a car on a level crossing in Turku. The accident happened around 08:30 and police say the driver of the vehicle is likely to be badly injured. Meanwhile near Oulu, a car caught fire and was completely destroyed after apparently drifting into the path of an oncoming truck on the Kemi road. Police say the car driver died, but the truck driver was not injured.
Government’s Activation Model Under Fire Again
There’s more criticism this morning for the government’s activation model, that uses financial penalties against people who don’t take positive steps to secure a job within a certain period of time. More than half of Finns would abandon the active model, according to a new survey in Helsingin Sanomat this morning. Some 53% of the respondents say they would abandon the new strategy, although 42% said they are in favour of it. Meanwhile another new poll carried out for state-funded broadcaster YLE finds up to 80% of small and medium-sized businesses say the new activation model hasn’t benefited their company, and 91% of respondents said they hadn’t received any employees via the programme.
Military Exercises Get Underway
Troops from Norway and the United States are joining Finnish forces for the start of military exercises in Niinisalo today. ‘Arrow 18’ involves around 3,200 personnel including staff and conscripts from all over Finland, and the Defence Forces warn that as those troops arrive in slower-moving convoy vehicles they’re likely to cause traffic disruptions in the area. In addition to the Finns, some 50 anti-tank specialists from Norway and 150 participants from US forces in Europe will be involved in Arrow 18. The annual event ends on 18th May.
Ice Hockey Victory For Lions
Finland’s ice hockey team has got off to a winning weekend at the men’s World Championships in Denmark. The Lions are on top of Group B this morning – ahead of Canada and USA – after defeating both South Korea and Latvia 8-1 in weekend games. The next team they face is Norway on Tuesday evening. Our Norwegian neighbours have so far had an overtime win, and an overtime loss so far in their World Championship campaign. Read more about on Finnish city’s struggle to maintain its pro hockey franchise in our new original story here.
Monday Morning Weather
Monday morning sees an outbreak of sunshine across most of the country, with some warm temperatures in the south. The Finnish Meteorological Institute forecasts +14C on Monday morning in the capital city region and inland areas towards Lahti. There’s some cloud cover along the eastern border and western coastal areas, but it will still feel warm in those regions. Central Finland and Lapland will enjoy unbroken sunshine at the start of the week although the temperature will still be on the cool side.