Morning headlines: Wednesday 27th May 2020

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

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Unemployment numbers almost doubled in April

The Ministry of Employment and Economy has published new figures which show the number of registered unemployed jobseekers at the end of April rose to 433,100 as the coronavirus crisis deepened. That’s 200,000 more than the year before and an increase of 124,000 from March. The large number of unemployed jobseekers, especially those who were laid off from full-time jobs, was due to the coronavirus pandemic as businesses contracted their operations.

Scandic Hotels extend furloughs for staff

The Scandic Hotel chain will continue to furlough personnel for another 90 days. During April and May around 92% of their employees working in hotels and support functions were laid off, initially until the end of June. However the company is introducing a new 90-day furlough for workers at its 65 hotels in Finland – of which just 14 are currently open. “In the restaurant business, under-size, unequal and discriminatory compensation from April to May, insufficient employment support and general support only now being possibly planned for small and medium sized companies will significantly slow down the resumption of our operations and the recruitment of furloughed staff” says CEO Aki Käyhkö.

Drug mortality on the rise 

A new Nordic study of poisoning deaths among problem drug users shows that drug mortality in Finland is on the rise. The new study looks at 2017 figures and compares them with previous figures from 2012. It shows that per 100,000 residents some 5.84 people died from drug overdoses. That’s an increase of 21% in just five years. In Sweden and Iceland drug mortality is also rising but in Norway and Denmark it is falling. The most common cause of overdose in Finland is from buprenoflin better known as Subutex. It is used in drug replacement therapy as part of the treatment programme for people with opioid addictions. Subutex is also a common drug for dealers to sell.

EU to publish coronvirus recovery plans 

The European Commission will publish its own proposals today for a recovery fund and revised budget to help Member States recover from the coronavirus crisis. This plan comes a week after France and Germany proposed the creation of a €500 billion joint EU recovery fund which would be financed with a loan from the EU and distributed to countries that need them. In Finland opposition parties and President Sauli Niinistö have been critical of any bailouts which would be backed by guarantees or so-called coronabonds. However Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) had a video meeting with her EU counterparts on Tuesday afternoon and says that Finland is taking a “constructive and open-minded approach to searching common solutions.”

Wednesday morning weather

It’s another mostly sunny and warm start to Wednesday morning but the rain that was forecast has moved in to western Lapland border areas and temperatures there are on the cool side at the start of the day. Elsewhere there’s double digit temperatures for Wednesday morning including +12°C for Oulu, +16°C already through Central Finland and down the eastern border with Russia. There’s +15°C too on the west coast for Pori, Rauma and maybe a degree or two cooler at first for Åland, Turku and the southwest. In the next 24 hours scattered showers are moving in from the west and temperatures will cool noticeably.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 27th May 2020 / Credit: FMI