Tax day information revealed
Today is the day when Finnish tax authorities reveal who are the country’s biggest tax payers. It’s an annual exercise in transparency where all tax payment information is revealed online, and anyone can see how much anyone else paid. It’s a national obsession in Finland and most media outlets will spend the day pouring over figures to report on high earners. So if you want to find out how much tax your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues or celebrities paid last year – which can be an indication of how much salary they make – you will need to visit a tax office to look at terminals. You can’t print out the information, but you can make notes on the screen. The tax authorities will also give the information by phone which is charged at €10.
Green party waiting for ‘big beast’ leadership contender
The Green Alliance political party will choose a new interim leader on Saturday to see them through the spring election, after the resignation of Touko Aalto. This morning, Emma Kari says she won’t be standing for the job, echoing the comments made by Maria Ohisalo earlier this week, saying she thinks the party needs someone with better national name recognition. Another former party chair Ville Niinistö also ruled himself out of contention, saying he’ll leave politics at the next election anyway. With the internal selection for a new chair just a couple of days away, former two-time presidential candidate and cabinet minister Pekka Haavisto is expected to make an announcement about his own intentions for the job soon. So far only MP Outi Alanko-Kahilut has said she wants the job.
New Espoo Bishop elected today
The Diocese of Espoo in the Finnish Lutheran Church will be getting a new bishop today. There’s two candidates running for office, who made it through an earlier first round of voting, Kaisamari Hintikka got 40% of the votes cast in the first round, while Juhani Holma received 20%. The election meeting is set to start around noon, with the results known a couple of hours later.
Finnish voted as Nordic Council official language
Finnish has – finally – been voted as an official language of the Nordic Council, along with Icelandic. The vote came at the organisation’s congress which is taking place in Oslo this week. Until now, only Swedish, Danish and Norwegian had been official working languages of the Council. The amendment to upgrade Finnish was passed unanimously.
Do you remember the Finnish man who replaced his finger with a USB memory stick? A decade ago Jerry Jalava became ‘internet famous’ after a blog post he wrote, describing how he turned a prosthetic finger into a memory stick, went viral. Soon the Helsinki entrepreneur was swamped with international media requests, as people wanted to hear his story. He lost part of a finger on his left hand in a motorbike accident, but decided to try and make something practical from his prosthetic finger. We tracked down Jalava, who works in Helsinki, to find out what happened since his brush with fame, and whether he’s made any tech upgrades to his fake finger. Find our more in our original video story here.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a mild start to Thursday morning, with temperatures above freezing across the whole country. The best of the sunshine is in Turku and the south west, but there’s also some glimpses of sunshine in the capital city region and along the eastern border. Elsewhere, expect plenty of cloud cover with rain in central Finland and the far north of Lapland. Temperatures are between +2°C and +8°C at the start of the morning.