Morning headlines: Tuesday 21st July 2020

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

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PM praises extra millions for Finland as EU leaders strike a deal

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) says Finland will get €500 million more funding from the EU after leaders struck a deal in Brussels on a coronavirus recovery package. Talks had stretched into their fifth day as various factions inside the EU slowly compromised on their negotiating positions for an initial €750 billion recovery fund made up of grants and loans. The overall amount of funding has now fallen, with less emphasis on grants, but the EU as a whole will have to borrow on the international money markets using the credit of all the countries. Marin says the new deal “contains many things that are important to Finland. The end result can be considered good from Finland’s point of view.” She cites that reduction in the share of grants; conditionality over rule of law; a third of the funding which must be spent on climate action; €400 million extra for Finland in funding plus another €100 million specifically for sparsely populated areas of northern and eastern Finland. Finland however remains a net contributor to EU budgets – giving €16.7 billion over the next seven years, but only getting back €11.1 billion.

Latest figures highlight rising unemployment

The latest job figures released on Tuesday morning show the continued effect the coronavirus crisis is having on the country. In June there were 47,000 more people out of work and looking for a job compared with 2019; while the number of employed people was 87,000 lower year-on-year. The new figures from Statistics Finland put the unemployment rate trend at 6.7%, and the employment rate trend at 72.4%. Employment rates are a key target for the government which had hoped to raise it up to 75% during the life cycle of this administration however the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis has clearly made that an extremely difficult target to reach.

Australian ferry operator cancels Rauma order

The Australian ferry operator TT-Line, which is wholly owned by the Government of Tasmania, has canceled an order from Rauma Marine Construction. TT-Line had signed a letter of intent at the beginning of the year with the west coast shipyard for two passenger car ferries but now the company says because of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis there needs to be “more consideration of local content and manufacturing jobs in Tasmania and Australia as part of the overall vessel replacement project.” The company’s chairman says that canceling the order is not a reflection on Rauma Marine Construction’s ability to delivery the project, but rather “a matter of timing and the unprecedented impact Covid-19 is having and will have on state and national economies.” Shipbuilding was supposed to start in Rauma early 2021.

Crayfish season begins today

Fishermen can begin catching crayfish today with the annual start of the season which continues through until the end of October. Warm water temperatures throughout the whole summer is one of the key factors in determining whether it’s a good season or not. This year Finland’s warm spring with rising water temperatures mean the crayfish had a long growing seasons and there’s plenty of them to catch. Finland has two different species of crayfish: the noble crayfish, which is found in central parts of the country up to southern Lapland; and the signal crayfish imported from North America but which is considered an alien species. There’s up to six million crayfish caught in Finland every year.

Tuesday morning weather

The weather is becoming cooler and more unstable across the whole of Finland on Tuesday, with rain and thunder storms moving in to many parts of the country. Western areas will have the highest chance of thunder as the day goes on. For Tuesday morning however temperatures start the day between +16°C in the southwest and northwest; and +19°C in Eastern Lapland, through central areas and down the eastern border. There’s already a chance of scattered showers in Northern Ostrobothnia and around Turku on Tuesday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 21st July 2020 / Credit: FMI