Appeals Court Considers Neo-Nazi Ban
The Appeals Court in Turku is considering today whether the Nordic Resistance Movement should be banned in Finland. A court in Pirkanmaa had previously ruled to make the neo-Nazi group illegal, saying that their activities were not compatible with democratic values. The Nordic Resistance Movement appealed that ruling, saying that they were a legally-registered organisation, and banning them would amount to an infringement of their free speech. Recently, the leader of the Nordic Resistance Movement Antti Niemi said the authorities were trying to ban them because “police is saying we don’t have freedom of speech” he told News Now Finland. The Nordic Resistance Movement can still mobilise its members to get out on the streets – earlier this month in Turku some 300 activists took part in a march and rally. They have a platform of hate speech, racism and xenophobia, and some members have been implicated in violent attacks.
Budget Talks Begin Again
Finland’s seemingly never ending cycle of budget talks crank into action once again today. Top of the agenda for the government discussions is finding new tax solutions as the economy is growing but next year’s state budget is still in deficit. Also up for discussions are possible new measures to get more people back to work. The summer drought, the impact it had on Finnish farmers, and how to deal with it could also be on the table – however it’s seen as a difficult task to offer blanket financial aid to all farmers, when the drought hit some parts of the country worse than others.
ICYMI: Huhtassari Plagiarism Verdict
A new academic investigation into plagiarism allegations against Finns Party deputy chair Laura Huhtasaari has found that up to 80% of parts of her Jyväskylä University masters thesis was copied from somewhere else. The three month audit was carried out by an independent expert, but Huhtasaari refused to give permission for her thesis to be checked by special software that detects plagiarism. The former Presidential candidate, who failed to get more than 10% of the vote in January’s election, has denied she did anything wrong, and says she followed the rules as she understood them at the time she wrote her thesis on multicultural education some 15 years ago. Read more about the numerous accusations of plagiarism that have dogged Huhtasaari over the last few years, the full investigation and what was uncovered.
Helsinki Airport Delays Doubled In July
The number of flights that were delayed at Helsinki Airport in July was twice as high this summer, compared to summer 2017. Flights are considered late when they arrive or depart more than 15 minutes after they’re scheduled. This July there were 1921 delayed flights at Finland’s busiest airport; while last year there were just 926 delayed flights. Some of the reasons for delayed flights include strikes, aircraft shortages and bad weather – all of which might not happen at Helsinki Airport, but could impact airline efficiency at the destination. The new statistics were compiled by the Peruutetutlennot website, which helps airline passengers get compensation for delayed or canceled flights. The website says the get the most requests for help from passengers of SAS, Norwegian, Turkish Airlines, Ryanair and Air France.
Dutch Foreign Minister Visits For Talks
The Netherlands’ Foreign Minister Stephanus Blok is in Helsinki today for talks. He’ll be meeting with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini (Blue) to discuss bilateral relations, Brexit, the future of the EU, US relations, NATO and Russia. The Dutchman will also give a speech at the annual meeting of Finnish ambassadors while he is in Helsinki, and visit the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats which opened last year.
Tuesday Morning Weather
It’s a cooler, cloudier start to Tuesday morning than we’ve seen in the last few days. The best of the morning sunshine will be in central parts of Finland and north east Lapland, but pretty much everywhere else starts the day with a lot of cloud cover. Temperatures range from +6°C in the north to +15°C in the south.