Morning Headlines: Wednesday 25th April 2018

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Finland Falls Again In Press Freedom Index

Finland has dropped down the press freedom ranking index for the second year in a row. This year, Journalists Without Borders ranks Finland in fourth place. Last year Finland fell from first to third spot. The reason for the continued fall is the case of a Helsingin Sanomat journalist who published a story based on old classified documents, who had her computer hard drive seized by authorities. Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are all ahead of Finland in the latest press freedom index.

Decision Day For Paavo Väyrynen 

Veteran politician, MEP Paavo Väyrynen (Ind) will hold a press conference today to address the matter of him returning to take up his seat in the Finnish parliament. The warhorse campaigner, who has been in politics for close to half a century, has had a string of political misfortune this year. In January he came 4th in the presidential election where he stood outwith the traditional party system. Then the Citizens’ Party he formed kicked him out. And last week he dropped out of his much-trumpeted plans to run against (and defeat) Prime Minister Juha Sipilä for the chair of the Centre Party – and to become PM. But Väyrynen could still return to national politics by taking up his seat in parliament, which was put ‘on hold’ for him while he went to Brussels as an MEP. The Lapland constituency seat is currently being filled by virulently pro-Catalan Centre Party MP Mikko Kärnä who could be forced to give up the job if Väyrynen comes back to demand it.

Electricity Prices Set To Rise

It’s going to get a little bit more expensive to turn on the lights at home. Electricity company Caruna is set to increase prices for consumers from the beginning of July. In practice it means bills will see a jump of 6.5%. The bill for an average apartment will go up about €1.5 per month or €18 per year. And a home will increase by about €7.5 per month or €90 per year.

Helsinki Week Festivities Revealed

Festivities to mark the 50th anniversary of Helsinki Week have been revealed this morning. Among a host of smaller performances and events some highlights include a concert in Kaivopuisto and an exhibition of David Hockney art. The concert will include mostly Finnish artists, with a few international acts thrown in as well. Another highlight is a 60th birthday concert for famed Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Festival begins on 17th August.

Wednesday Morning Weather
It’s a hazy, cloudy start across pretty much the whole country this morning, according to the Finnish Meteorological Insitute FMI. In the south, you might catch a glimpse of sunshine but it will feel cool everywhere with a high of just +6C. There’s a lot of fog in Central Finland and the chance of rain in the south east, far north, and possibly some snow in Lapland this morning.
Finnish Meteorological Institute Forecast for Wednesday morning 25th April 2018 / Credit: FMI