Morning headlines: Tuesday 15th September 2020

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

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Budget talks continue for second day

Government ministers are meeting again at House of the Estates in Helsinki for a second day of talks to set the 2021 budget. Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen (Centre) has said that Finland’s budget deficit next year could top €7 billion especially with so many unknown cost factors associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Talks are centered around a number of high priority issues including getting the economy back on track and increasing employment post-Covid-19; finding ways to tax fossil fuels like peat and moving forward with more concrete action to meet the climate neutral targets; figuring out how to replace funding for arts, sports, science and third sector charities from falling Veikkaus revenues; and protecting the financial situation of municipalities, among other subjects. Read more at our story here.

Survey: Finns put their media trust in newspapers

A new survey carried commissioned by the Newspaper Association finds that newspapers have strengthened their position as Finland’s most reliable media source – particularly for young people aged 18-24. Almost 9-out-of-10 young people consider print newspapers (or their equivalent online version) to be reliable sources of news; while a third of people in this same age group put television news in second place. Look at the whole Finnish population, 3-in-4 rely on print or digital newspapers, with TV channels and their online services the next most trusted; and then radio channels are also highly trusted. “Young adults in particular feel that newspapers represent very well the most important feature of news and current media” says Sirpa Kirjonen from the Finnish Newspaper Association. At the other end of the scale, the reliability of Google, social media, YouTube and blogs as a source of news for Finns remains low. A thousand people took part in the survey.

One dead in early morning crash

One person has been killed after an early morning crash involving a truck and a car. It happened 1km outside the village of Pöljä near Siilinjärvi and rescue crews were alerted just after 05:00. When they arrived at the scene they found the driver of the car dead – apparently killed immediately in the crash or shortly afterwards. Police and rescue crews have been directing morning traffic around the incident and now investigators will being their work to determine exactly what happened. There’s so far no early indication on the cause of the crash.

Finnish MEPs split on local politics roles

There are six Finnish MEPs in Brussels who also hold elected positions on local councils back in Finland, and Uutissuomalainen newspaper group has surveyed them to find out their intentions ahead of the spring 2021 municipal elections. At least Laura Huhtasaari (Finns) and Elsi Katainen (Centre) say they won’t continue in their local council roles after the election; while Alviina Alametsä (Green), Teuvo Hakkarainen (Finns) and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP) say they haven’t made a decision yet about whether to run for local councils or not. The sixth MEP who is also a local councilor is Ville Niinistö (Green) who says he will run again for election in April 2021.

Burger chain announces hundreds of new jobs

Finnish burger chain Friends & Brgrs has announced it will open six new restaurants this year, creating 200 hundred new positions. The new restaurants will be opened in shopping centres in Helsinki, Espoo, Lappeenranta, Kuopio and Rovaniemi, adding to the eight Friends & Brgrs restaurants already operating in Finland, and one in Hamburg Germany. “Summer sales and customer demand have exceeded our expectations. Since the restaurant re-opened in June, our business has begun to recover rapidly and we are once again on the path of strong growth” says CEO Peter Fagerholm. The company says it was able to keep all of its restaurants opened for take-away and delivery orders during the coronavirus crisis, and kept a positive cash flow during this time.

Tuesday morning weather – and a storm warning in the forecast

There’s a split weather picture for Tuesday morning with sunshine across the southern areas, and more cloud cover in the north. Temperatures range from +4°C in Enontekiö – with the chance of rain further north around Kilpisjärvi – to +10°C in Vaasa, +8°C in Jyväskylä, +8°C too down the eastern border; +11°C for the capital city region. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has already issued a red storm warning – it’s highest category – for Åland on Wednesday saying there is a “rapidly deepening and intense storm depression” that could bring “dangerous” strong winds to Åland and the western sea area.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday 15th September 2020 / Credit: FMI