Government’s mixed messages on coronavirus Emergency Act
Government ministers are meeting today to discuss possible extra measures, including provisions under the Emergency Act, to slow the spread of coronavirus. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said in a Tuesday evening interview that if there were more cases of coronavirus, and the spread of the virus accelerated again, putting a strain on healthcare capacity, then there could be a situation where provisions in the Emergency Act might be needed. However this contradicts what the gaffe-prone Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) said just a few hours earlier on Tuesday – that the need for the Emergency Act is just “days away”. The act has only be introduced once since the end of World War II, earlier this year, with parliament voting to give time-limited extra powers to the government to help tackle the pandemic.
THL: Problem drug use and drug deaths on the rise in Finland
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL says the use of illegal drugs has increased significantly in the 2010s compared to the previous decade. A new report published on Wednesday shows that problem drug use has caused serious social and health issues particularly for people aged 35-34. “It would seem that there is a young generation of problem amphetamine and opioid users in Finland” the report concludes. The number of drugs deaths is also on the rise. According to THL’s figures the number of drugs deaths has doubled in the last two decades.
Political poll: Few changes, but Social Democrats still lead
A new political opinion poll in Helsingin Sanomat finds little movement in the popularity of different parties – however Sanna Marin‘s Social Democrats maintains a lead in the number one spot on 20.8% support. The Finns Party is the second most popular party on 19.9% support and the National Coalition Party remains in third place with 16.5% support down a little from the previous month. There is some brighter news for the Centre Party under the new leadership of Annika Saarikko as they gained half a percentage point of support to stay in fourth place on 11.7%. The five parties in the coalition government currently have a combined support of 55.5%. The poll was carried out for HS by Kantar TNS who spoke to 2,620 in telephone surveys between 19th October and 20th November. The margin of error for the biggest parties is 2.1% in either direction.
Finnish orchestra bags Grammy nomination
Finland’s Radio Symphony Orchestra has received a US music industry Grammy Award nomination. The orchestra, and chief conductor Hannu Lintu are nominated in the Best Classical Collection category for their performance of two symphonies by a Polish composer. The recording also contains music from Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho recorded by a Norwegian orchestra. This is the second year the RSO has received a Grammy nomination. They were announced last Tuesday night Finnish time.
Wednesday morning weather
It’s a cold start to Wednesday morning with most parts of the country waking up to temperatures below zero – and that means slippery road conditions. The exceptions are parts of the Ostrobothnia coast which are only a degree or two above freezing.
Temperatures in southern Finland will warm up to around +8°C on Wednesday but meteorologists are forecasting snow moving in from the Gulf of Finland on the weekend, which could bring snowfalls even to southern areas.