12,000 conscripts start military service today
Some 12,000 young men and women report for the first day of military service today as the summer intake of conscripts begins. The majority of them will go to the army, around 10,000; while 1700 go to the Navy and the rest are divided among the Air Force and Border Guard. Conscription starts with a basic training period lasting eight weeks and then the rest of the conscription time continues until either December, March or June depending on how long the recruits opted for and what sort of military jobs they will be doing.
Alcohol and soft drinks taxes planned next year
Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä (Centre) is planning some big tax increases for alcohol and non-alcoholic soft drinks next year according to Kauppalehti newspaper. The alcohol tax will help raise €50 million for the government, while a tax on sugary sodas could raise up to €25 million. Final decisions will be taken by the government in September with the taxes set to be introduced during 2020. Successive Finnish governments have increased alcohol tax eight times in the last ten years.
Lightning strike forces Finnair flight to return
A Finnair flight heading to Greece had to turn back and land at Helsinki Airport again on Sunday after a lightning strike. It happened shortly after the AY1882 leisure flight had left Helsinki en route to Heraklion airport at 21:00 on Sunday evening about 20 minutes after takeoff. The plane was checked by engineering staff on the ground for possible damage, and passengers were transferred to another aircraft to continue their journey to Greece.
Coast Guard rescue after high speed boat crash
The Coast Guard were called to an incident off the coast of Kotka in south east Finland on Sunday evening, to rescue a man from the water after his speedboat crashed. The man was on a training course, practicing to race his boat when the crash happened between Hietanen and Vaikkasaari. The boat was going 70 km/ph when the incident took place but the man was wearing both a helmet and a life jacket and was not seriously injured when he was rescued by the Coast Guard.
EU Presidency kick-off party in Helsinki
Finland took over the six month rotating EU Presidency at the start of July and today the capital is officially marking the season with an open-air event to attract citizens to Kansalaistori. Timed to coincide with the opening of the Helsinki Cup youth football event, the EU-related picnic runs from 11:00 – 20:00 and also features a giant climate change-themed art installation of plastic waste, and tents from different government ministries and organisations to explain about the work of the EU during Finland’s Presidency.
Listen: Podkäst Episode #1
If you’re a fan of podcasts – whether listening at summer cottage or while commuting to/from work – check out our new podcast series Podkäst which started this month. On the first episode, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen talks about getting all 28 EU countries on the same page to meet climate change goals, and about getting the message through to British politicians that the Brexit withdrawal agreement can’t be re-negotiated. Plus we’ve got pop singer Jon-Jon Geitel in the studio to talk about touring the country playing at some of Finland’s many summer music festivals. Listen to the first episode of Podkäst at this link here.
Monday morning weather
The best of the sunshine at the start of the week is over Lapland and northern Finland where the temperature gets up to +14C on Monday morning. Across much of the central and southern areas it’s overcast with rain and cloudy weather. The capital city region should avoid the rain at least during the morning with some sun shining out between breaks in the clouds and temperatures between +7C in the north east, to +16C down the west coast.