Parliament back after Christmas break
The Finnish parliament is back in session today, for the first time since Christmas holidays. This morning committees will be discussing provincial reform, and in the afternoon MPs will be discussing proposed changes to laws about demonstrations. At present, organisers only need to give six hours notice of holiday a protest, but the government wants to increase this to three days, citing operational reasons. No decision on this will be taken today, just a discussion on which committee will handle the new legislation initially.
One dead in overnight house fire
One man has been found dead after fire destroyed his Helsinki apartment. Rescue crews got a call around 06:00 this morning, in the city’s Tapanila district. When firefighters arrived at the building they had to break the door of the apartment and found it fully engulfed. The middle aged man’s body was found inside. Nobody else had to be evacuated from the building. This morning investigators will begin an investigation into the cause of the blaze, but officials said the damage was so severe that it was not easy to immediately see where the fire started.
Social Democrat leader hospitalised in Spain
Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne has been hospitalised in Spain, and is receiving medical treatment. The 56-year old politician fell ill while on holiday, and doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia. While he’s under medical supervision he won’t be allowed to fly back to Finland, and will be off work for the rest of the month. Rinne’s wife Heta has also been hospitalised while on holiday in Spain, and she too is receiving medical treatment. Read more at our story here.
Savonlinna Airport runway open after accident
Savonlinna regional airport runway is open for business this morning, after an accident yesterday closed it while investigators were working. On Monday morning a Saab 34 propeller aircraft was arriving at the regional airport on a transfer flight, and preparing for a scheduled departure to Helsinki. According to officials the plane was turning at the end of the runway but went too far off the end. There were only staff on board, no passengers, and no injuries are reported. Flights to and from Helsinki have already been canceled for Tuesday morning, but airport officials aren’t yet sure if afternoon flights will arrive and depart as planned, so check with the airport or airline if you have flight plans today.
Tuesday morning weather
Another mixed star to the day for weather across the country. Temperatures across the north will be down to -14°C with plenty of cloud cover and some snow forecast for the far north west around Kilpisjärvi area. Further south the temperatures warm up to -2°C in Oulu, -3°C in Jyväskylä and snow forecast for parts of central and eastern Finland as well. There’s fog in the south east around Lappeenranta, and more snow along the Ostrobothnia coast in Rauma and Pori, into Tampere and Pirkanmaa as well. With temperatures above freezing in Turku and the capital city region, expect rain there later, although a blizzard is going to affect some flights at Helsinki Airport.