Morning Headlines: Thursday 23rd August 2018

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Proposal: Toll Roads Pay For Infrastructure

The Finnish Economic Research Institute ETLA is proposing that tolls should be introduced over the next few years to pay for investment in the country’s transport infrastructure. So how would the tolls be calculated? According to a study produced by business leader Jorma Ollila, motorists would be charged depending on how many kilometres they drive. ETLA says that as smart cars and electric vehicles become more common in the coming years, Finland will need different types of transport infrastructure to cope. In any case, investment needs are already increasing due to urbanisation. As a result, more money is needed for the transport sector even as tax revenues generated by it decrease and there is pressure on public finances.

New Poll: SDP Support Falls Slightly, But Still On Top 

A new political poll out this morning shows the Social Democrats holding on to top spot. The survey was carried out by Kantar TNS for Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and shows SDP at 21.7% which is down slightly from the previous survey. However, support for second place National Coalition Party holds steady at 20.2%; and support for the Prime Minister’s Centre Party rose a little to 15.5%. Meanwhile the Greens increased their support by half a percentage point to 13.7%. For the smaller parties, Left Alliance is at 9.6%; Finns Party at 7.9%; RKP at 4.3%; Christian Democrats at 4.1% and Blue Alliance at 1.2%. The survey was carried out between 16th July and 16th August, and more than 2400 people were polled. The margin of error is around 2% in either direction for the major parties.

Navy Sinking Anniversary

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Finnish naval ship the Riilahti by Soviet forces. Twenty three Finnish sailors were killed in the attack by a submarine, while 11 others were rescued including the ship’s captain Osmo Kivilinna. It was one of the worst losses of the war for the Finnish fleet, where the Riilahti – a mine layer – had played an important role against Soviet submarines in the Gulf of Finland. The wreckage of the Riilahti lies 70 metres on the Baltic Sea bed, and access is restricted to divers who need special permits to go there, as it is considered to be a maritime tomb.

Thursday Morning Weather

Many parts of the country can expect to see rain today. This morning temperatures are relatively mild in the south, but won’t get into double digits in the north of Lapland. Central and northern parts will see the worst of the rain, and the evening cloud moves in to the south. There’s strong winds forecast for waters around the Åland Islands.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 23rd August 2018 / Credit: FMI