Morning headlines: Tuesday 16th April 2019

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

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President Niinistö sends Notre-Dame condolences

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has sent a message of support and condolence to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over the massive fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Writing in French on social media, Niinistö said “Finland shares the sadness in the face of this terrible fire at Notre-Dame cathedral. Our thoughts are with France and Parisians”. A fire broke out in the medieval church, which can trace its earliest roots back to the mid-1100’s, on Monday evening and some nine hours later when firefighters were able to get the blaze under control the roof and spire had collapsed. Rescue workers were able to save many priceless relics and artworks inside, and the main exterior structure of the gothic cathedral remains standing. President Macron, who visited Finland late last summer, says France will rebuild the cathedral.

National Coalition Party meets today

National Coalition Party chiefs are meeting in Helsinki this morning to discuss the their options to be part of the next government. Chairman Petteri Orpo will hold a press conference afterwards, where he is expected to outline his vision of how – or if – the NCP will approach negotiations with the Social Democrats. Orpo’s party stayed as the second most popular party in Finland for the second general election in a row with 17% of the vote and 38 seats in parliament. As vote results came in on election night, Orpo said that his party would only go into government with a party that shared similar values.

“Values” at the heart of new government negotiations

Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne has put the theme of “values” at the centre of his plans to try and form Finland’s next coalition government. And he’s not alone. Responding to the entrenched electoral success of the populist Finns Party, a number of politicians stressed to News Now Finland that having partners with compatible values-based policies was important for successful government negotiations. Antti Rinne repeated those comments in Finnish TV interviews on Tuesday evening, and said it also looked like the populist Finns Party didn’t share the same economic or sustainable development values as his party either. Read more at our original story here.

Children’s Ombudsman lands new job 

The outgoing Children’s Ombudsman Tuomas Kurttila as landed a new job as the CEO of the Helsinki Mother and Child Home Association Ensikoti. Kurttila has served as the ombudsman since 2014 but announced in February that although he’d applied for a second five year term in the job when the current term ends on 30th April, he had been told he wouldn’t get another appointment. Kurttila ran unsuccessfully as a Social Democrat candidate in Sundays elections. At the end of 2018 Kurttila’s travel arrangements were called into question, when it was revealed he had spent €5000 on taxi trips in just three months during autumn.

Tuesday morning weather

It’s another bright start to Tuesday morning with sunshine in most parts of the country on Tuesday morning. Apart from a few spots in Lapland where temperatures dip below zero, most of Finland will enjoy some temperatures above freezing at the start of the day, and forecasters are even predicting highs of up to +14C in some areas by the afternoon! The nice weather is forecast to continue through Easter weekend as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 16th April 2019 / Credit. FMI