Centre Party, Left Alliance name final ministers
The final pieces of the ministerial puzzle were put in place late Wednesday night with both the Centre Party and Left Alliance deciding on their picks. Li Andersson becomes the Left’s choice as Minister of Education while the other job of Minister of Social Affairs and Health will be split between two different incumbents. Aino-Kaisa Pekonan takes the role for the first two years of this government’s term, and then Hanna Sarkkinen takes over for the final two years. Meanwhile the Centre Party appointed their five ministers: Mika Lintilä (Finance Minister), Antti Kaikkonen (Minister of Defence), Katri Kulmuni (Minister of Economic Affairs), Annika Saarikko (Minister of Science and Culture) is on maternity leave with her job covered by Hanna Kosonen until August next year. Jari Leppä continues as Minister for Agrigultre and Forestry, a portfolio he held in the last government as well.
Ceremonies mark start of new coalition government term
President Sauli Niinistö will preside over meetings and ceremonies today to officially swear in the new government, including Antti Rinne (SDP) as Prime Minister, and his team of ministers. The procedures involve votes of confidence in Rinne and his incoming administration in the parliament chamber where he has to achieve a simple majority of the votes. This afternoon’s session also sees the formal resignation of the previous government. There’s a lot of back-and-forth with various new/old ministers between Parliament and the President’s official residence of Mäntyniemi. Follow the various events in parliament live from 12 noon at this link.
Missing man found dead in river
A man missing since May 25th from the Valkeakoski area, has been found dead in Vanajavesi Uskinlahti near where he was last seen. The body was discovered on Tuesday. Police were able to track the movements of the 24-year old, originally from Lappenranta, through his mobile phone. During the search, police had published the man’s name and photo, and they have thanked members of the public for tips and reported sightings. The investigation continues into the cause of death.
Police launch drink drive crackdown
Finnish police are starting a crackdown on suspected drink drivers beginning on Thursday and continuing through until Sunday. According to Inspector Heikki Ihalainen tens of thousands of vehicles will be stopped and their drivers asked to take a breath test. According to preliminary data 30 people were killed and almost 500 injured in road traffic accidents where alcohol was a factor. More than a third of those people were aged 15-24. “The risk of getting caught this weekend is higher than usual” says Ihalainen.
Thursday morning weather
Thursday starts of very warm and sunny across the entire country – unless you live in the very far north east of Lapland where rain is forecast this morning. In the rest of the country however the temperatures are already hitting +20C in Oulu, +22C in Central Finland, +20C in Turku and the south west, and +23C in Uusimaa. Forecasters have said the temperatures will hit +30C in many areas today and tomorrow. Read more at our story here.