Morning headlines: Wednesday 18th September 2019

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

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Migri’s student visa backlog causing financial hardships & education setbacks

More than a thousand students who got accepted to Finnish universities, and applied for their visas at Finnish embassies or consulates overseas, are still waiting for their residence permits to be processed by Migri in Helsinki. Students have paid money for course fees and housing, and have already missed the start of their classes this term. We talked with three students in Asia and Africa who say the process is inefficient, and leaves them feeling frustrated, dejected and disheartened by the whole experience. Read more at our original story here.

Budget talks outcomes hotly debated 

The outcome of Monday’s government budget talks is being hotly debated by opposition politicians, experts, pundits and the media today. The main objective had been to sustain job creation but there’s more money for police officers; beefing up Migri to better handle asylum applications; for education; combating climate change and nature conservation. There’s increases in the state pension and a small increase in some social security beneifts as well. Critics say the government is increasing Finland’s debt burden dramatically and leaving a ‘budget time bomb’ that future governments will have to deal with.

Prime Minister head to France for talks 

PM Antti Rinne (Centre) is heading to France today for talks in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. The pair will meet at the Elysee Palace this afternoon and on the agenda are EU budget negotiations, the rule of law, action against climate change, EU enlargement, defence cooperation, Brexit and hybrid threats. It’s all set against the backdrop of Finland’s six-month rotating Presidency of the European Council. This marks the first specific bilateral meeting between the PM and Macron, although the French President paid a highly successful visit to Finland in autumn 2018.

Tampere Police arrest “several masked persons”

Police in Tampere last night conducted an operation in the city’s Kullervonkatu after reports of masked men and a loud bang in an apartment on the street. It happened on Tuesday evening and officers were alerted around 20:00. According to Aamulehti newspaper police searched several homes with sniffer dogs, and detained three suspects at the scene. Police say they’re not releasing any more information about the incident at this stage.

Huge salary proposal for Sitra boss 

The next head of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra is going to get a monthly salary of more than €19,000. That’s the proposal from Sitra’s board as it prepares to rubber stamp the appointment of former Prime Minister and EU Commissioner Jyrki Katainen (NCP) to the role. It’s the latest sky-high salary to be revealed for an employee of a government-backed state organisation including Metsä and Posti in recent weeks and the STT salary figure was revealed by STT Finnish News Agency.

Wednesday morning weather

It’s a bright start for virtually the whole of Finland on Wednesday morning but temperatures drop below zero in some places at the start of the day. There’s a chance of snow flurries around Kilpisjärvi in north west Lapland, and temperatures dip to -2°C in the southern part of the region but the bright sunshine will hopefully make it feel not too bad! Further south expect more sunshine through southern Ostrobothnia and into Central Finland and down the eastern border. There’s some cloud cover over the southern half of Finland but the sun will still be coming out. Temperatures range from +8°C in Åland, Hanko and the capital city region to +4°C in Jyväskylä.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 18th September 2019 / Credit: FMI