Finland News Round-Up no.3
Beware slippery roads in southern Finland
21.2.2021: Drivers in most of Finland should expect poor driving conditions, according to forecasters. Especially in Ostrobothnia, South Karelia and Kymenlaakso, conditions are expected to range from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor.’ Rescue departments in the area warn that motorists should slow down and drive carefully due to low visibility.
Medical director calls for tighter restrictions in Helsinki region
21.2.2021: Bracing for an increase in coronaviurs patients, Chief medical officer Markku Mäkijärvi warned that Finland’s healthcare system is in danger of strain. He urged the government to tighten restrictions on bars and on restaurants that serve alcohol. Many are concerned that the upcoming three-week winter holiday may lead to an increase in cases.
Metal group Blind Channel to represent Finland in Eurovision contest
21.2.2021: Metal band Blind Channel won Yle’s Contest for New Music (UMK) Saturday night, making them the representative for Finland in the next Eurovision song contest. The band cited Finnish metal “DNA” as a reason for their win.
Anna-Maja Henriksson: A decision on municipal elections will be made next week
20.2.2021: Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson told Yle that a decision will be made next week about whether to hold municipal elections on 18 April as planned. Henriksson said that the government is looking to other countries currently planning parliamentary elections, such as the Netherlands and the UK, for solutions that would allow elections to move forward.
Estonia PM calls on Finnish government to ease travel restrictions
19.2.2021: In her first official state visit to Finland, newly elected Estonian Prime Minister urged the Finnish government to allow workers to move between Finland and Estonia. She emphasized the importance of cross-border travel to the Finnish and Estonian economies, and urged that tighter travel restrictions imposed in January be relaxed.
US-Finland arms deal worth €76m approved
18.2.2021: The Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated that the sale will “support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a trusted partner which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”
New coronavirus variant discovered in Helsinki-based laboratory
18.2.2021: Although the newly discovered variant is unique, it bears some similarities to mutations previously discovered in the UK. Because Finland has comparatively low rates of coronavirus infection and transmission, it is unlikely that the variant originated in the country.
Finland PM Sanna Marin included in TIME Magazine’s Next 100 Most Influential People
Marin was named one of 100 influential people in business, entertainment, politics, sports, science, and health. She was also featured as the cover photo for the publication’s “Leaders” section.