Main Turku Terror Trial Starts Today
The main trial begins in Turku today for a Moroccan asylum seeker accused of plotting and carrying out Finland’s first terror attack. Prosecutors say Abderrahman Bouanane committed two terror-related murders, and eight attempted murders during a knife rampage attack in Turku last August. Bouanane’s defence is that his intention was to kill several people, but he denies that his actions were terror-related.
Alcohol Consumption Declines
The amount of alcohol being consumed by young people in Finland continues to decline. That’s according to new figures this morning from the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL. According to the survey there’s three reasons for this: booze is becoming more expensive; parents’ attitudes are stricter; and time spent with friends is no longer so strongly related to alcohol. Also, there’s been tighter controls on checking the ages of young people trying to buy alcohol, and on advertising of alcohol products.
KELA’s Foreign Payments
The Finnish social security agency KELA paid child allowance and home care allowance of €6 million to foreign workers employed in Finland last year, even when family members don’t actually live in Finland. KELA says typically, one family member moves from an EU country to Finland, but the spouse and children often stay in the country of origin. According to EU regulations, the whole family is entitled to benefits in Finland. In 2017 about €4.5 million was paid in child benefits; while a further €1.5 million in home care allowance was paid. Most of the child care money was paid to Estonia, followed by Poland and Greece.
Electricity Strike Begins Today
Electricity industry unions start a week-long strike today, after rejecting the latest mediation proposals over new working terms and conditions. About 2000 people working in 20 electricity installation companies are affected by the industrial action, the latest in a long line of strikes, work-to-rule and walk-outs that have hit Finland in the last six months due to the way that unions and employers negotiate their work contracts. Here’s an explanation of why those strike threats keep on coming.
Winter Tyre Change Begins
Drivers can officially switch out their studded winter tyres for summer tyres today, but experts say think of safety first, especially if melting snow could turn to ice overnight and make treacherous road conditions in the mornings. Meanwhile speed limits across the country will return to their normal summer limits, as winter starts to fade. The Finnish Transport Agency hopes to have summer speed limits set throughout the country by the end of the week, although if there are still wintry conditions in some areas, that target might be delayed.
Monday Morning Weather
It’s definitely warming up across the whole of the country as spring takes hold. The Monday morning forecast from the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI shows temperatures above zero for the southern half of the country, all the way up to Oulu. Expect a mix of sunshine and partly cloudy weather, with some hazy conditions thanks to dust blowing from the Sahara, in the south and south west. The capital city region and along the southern coast towards Kotka, and the eastern border area in Imatra will have some partly cloudy sunshine, with temperatures as high as +4°C. Further north and west, in Tampere, Pori and Jyväskylä areas watch out for some rain showers this morning, with a chance of sleet or snow showers further north as the temperature hovers around freezing. In Lapland, the forecast is for partly cloudy weather with temperatures down to -6°C.