Morning headlines: Tuesday 23rd June 2020

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

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Fuengirola Mayor hopes Finnish tourists return

Spain has opened its borders to EU and Schengen visitors this week, and authorities are hoping enough tourists come to help boost the economy during the rest of the summer season. The Mediterranean country would normal expect 80 million visitors each year but the coronavirus crisis has decimated tourist numbers. The town of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol is a magnet for Finns in particular. Tens of thousands of people live there or visit for the sun, sea and sand of summer, or the mild winters – and the town’s mayor says she’s hoping the Finnish tourists come back. “We know that there’s a special connection between us and the Finns, that they’ve been coming here for many years and we want to see them continue to be a part of our wider family” says Mayor Ana Mula. Read more at our original story here.

Government debating coronavirus restrictions

Government ministers are meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss whether some more coronavirus restrictions or recommendations can be eased. Nationally, the epidemic has continued to slow and on Monday there was only 1 new case reported from over the weekend. There are currently just 21 people in hospital receiving treatment for coronavirus-related and all but one of them are in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District. On the agenda for today’s discussions will be the possibility of easing border restrictions – the border with Russia for example is still closed; if there can be changes to recommendations for people aged over-70; and recommendations on remote working. The meeting begins at 11:00.

Sitra: Finland could use legal means to ban peat use

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra says that using the law to ban the use of peat is one option that should be considered if the country wants to be carbon neutral. Taking more aggressive action to curb the use of peat as a fuel source has been resisted by the Centre Party in government, but Sitra says there should be a clear government policy to abandon the use of peat. Other suggestions include using EU funds to transition away from burning peat, and making sure people affected by the changes this would bring to their livelihoods are directly involved in the conversation. Sitra also says that pro-peat tax breaks should be phased out by 2025 and then if those measures haven’t worked, by 2030 a ban on the use of peat by law could be considered.

Poll: Most people support financial subsidies for coronavirus-hit businesses

A poll in Helsingin Sanomat finds that a majority of people support financial subsidies for businesses hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. Some 60% of people say they consider the government’s measures to be appropriate; while 14% thought the help was too little, and 14% thought too much financial help was being made available. And 13% did not have an opinion on the subject. According to the survey supporters of the National Coalition Party were not so favourable towards the government’s actions, and the Finns Party were most critical. The most positive voters towards the level of financial help on offer to businesses were Social Democrat supporters.

Tuesday morning weather 

It’s a mostly hot and sunny start to Tuesday across much of the country but will feel much cooler at least at first in northeast Lapland where the day begins with +8°C around Inari. Elsewhere expect temperatures around +20°C everywhere else to start the morning and hitting more than +25°C in many places as the day goes on with highs approaching +30°C. This afternoon some individual showers will develop around Kainuu. There’s also a high risk of wildfires across the whole of Finland.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 23rd June 2020 / Credit: FMI