Morning headlines: Thursday 16th July 2020

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00.

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Police Commissioner: More can be done to improve minority relations

Finland’s most senior police officer says more can be done to improve relations with minority communities – especially in the area of recruitment – and to bridge the gap between perception and reality of trust in the police. National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen made the comments as a new barometer was published which shows that police enjoy a high degree of trust from 91% of people, although this figure is down slightly from a high of 95% just two years ago. However the survey found just 53% of people thought the police treated Finnish people, and people from other cultural backgrounds, in the same way. “We have to work for that question inside the police, and also guarantee those foreigners in Finland that you will be treated very equally”. Read more at our original story here.

Four dead in traffic accidents during 24-hour period

At least four people have died in separate traffic accidents during a 24-hour period in Finland. In Karkkila one person died overnight when a passenger car drifted to the wrong side of the road and collided with an oncoming truck. In Kokemäki in southwest Finland police say an accident between a bicycle and a motorbike around 21:00 on Wednesday evening left the drivers of both bikes dead. And in Lahti on Wednesday a middle aged man died in a motorbike accident when he lost control and hit a lamppost.

Grand Committee sets Finland’s final EU budget position today

The Grand Committee of Parliament will set Finland’s final position on EU budget talks for a coronavirus recovery package today, ahead of a Brussels summit of leaders which begins on Friday. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) will be representing Finland at the summit, the first time EU leaders have met face-to-face since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Ministers have been saying the amount of money in the EU’s €750 billion Covid-19 recovery fund should be weighted with more loans which have to be repaid, and fewer grants. Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) told News Now Finland recently that concerns about Finland taking on more debt on behalf of southern European countries was not accurate. “It’s very important to make a difference that this new proposal does not mean any mutualisation of debt. So every country is still responsible for the debt they have, and if you’re going to take a loan you’ll have to pay it back. That is clear.” Read more about Finland’s position on the EU’s coronavirus budget, and the multi-year financial settlement at our original story here.

Berry industry lobbied government on seasonal workers

Representatives of Finland’s berry producers lobbied ministers during the coronavirus on the issue of seasonal workers. Suomen Kuvalehti reports that industry associations wrote to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Centre) in March with concerns that border closures would severely impact their ability to get visas processed for immigrant workers, and that they would be stopped from coming to Finland to harvest the berry crops. A solution to fly 3,000 Thai workers to Finland despite coronavirus restrictions was proposed, according to SK. There was also a proposal made to offer a €30 per day ‘berry voucher’ to encourage young people in Finland to go and work in agriculture.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a bright and sunny start to Thursday morning across almost the whole country, with a little cloud cover on the west coast and in the far north where there’s also the chance of scattered showers as the day goes on. Temperatures are warming up as we head towards the weekend and Thursday begins with temps ranging from +15°C in southern Lapland to +17°C in Inari, +20°C through Central Finland, +15°C down the eastern border and +18°C in the southwest and across Uusimaa.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 16th July 2020 / Credit: FMI