New budget gives €5.5 billion coronavirus recovery boost
The Government has unveiled it’s new supplementary budget which gives a €5.5 billion shot in the arm to Finland, to help the country recover from the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s cash available for transport and infrastructure projects, education, services for children and young people, green initiatives, science and to buy stockpiles of any coronavirus vaccine that’s eventually produced. Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni (Centre) says the latest stimulus package will “support Finland back on the path to growth” but opposition politicians have criticised it for forcing the country into unnecessary debt. Read more at our story here.
Supercell donates to Black Lives Matter funds
Finnish gaming company Supercell says it will be donating an undisclosed amount of money to anti-racism organisations in the USA, as protests continue across America sparked by the death of a black man in police custody. Supercell says they’re doing this “in solidarity with the community of our Supercellians, players, and partners” and will donate to Black Lives Matter, and the NAACP Legal Defence Fund which the Helsinki-based company says are organisations “in a position to help drive change.” Supercell will also match any employee donations to those organisations, and also halt advertising and social media posts in the USA “to allow more important voices to take appropriate priority and be heard.” Supercell founder Ilkka Paananen writes on Twitter that he is “honoured and proud to be part of this team.”
Researchers and academics urge Government to make masks mandatory
A group of Finnish scientists and academics have written an open letter to the Government today, calling for face mask use to be made mandatory to further slow the coronavirus pandemic. “Current research strongly suggests that the use of masks is beneficial and that masks are one of the most useful and cost-effective actions in managing the Covid-10 epidemic” says the self-styled Working Group on Getting Rid of the Coronavirus. According to the authors – who include economist Bengt Holmström, epidemiology researcher Hanna Ollila and law professor Martin Scheinin, the use of masks reduces the amount of viruses released into the environment by both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of the virus – and therefore reduces the likelihood that other people will become infected.
Telia’s April outage caused by software glitch
A telecommunications failure in April which caused significant disruption to Telia’s services was due to a software error. The company has submitted a report of the incident to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and says the software glitch meant there were system failures in the main systems and in backup systems. The fault, on 25th April, affected Telia’s services including thousands of calls that couldn’t be connected to 2G, 3G and 4G networks; and wifi systems were also impacted. Telia says however that calls to emergency services were not affected.
Wednesday morning weather
It’s a sunny and warm start to Wednesday across much of the country except for central and northern areas of Lapland where there’s going to be some rainfall this morning. Elsewhere expect sunshine and temperatures between +13°C and +17°C, with some patches of cloud along the west coast. As the day goes on some thunderstorms will develop across Lapland and there’s a forest fire warning in place in a large part of Finland at the moment.