Blog Posts

Putin Belongs in Siberia’s IK-3 Prison Colony

After his speech today, just before the Russian presidential election that he will win with 99.99% of the popular vote, Mr. Putin has once again lied to his people: He has lied about winning the war in Ukraine where over 300 000 Russian men have been killed or seriously wounded. He has stolen Ukrainian children from their homes. He has ordered daily deadly assaults in innocent Ukrainian civilians with bombs, missiles and tanks. He has ordered the destruction of cities,

Finnish Politics – Voting & Prejudices

The last couple of weeks have seen two elections that have given surprising results, but the surprises are not about the winners, but more about the ones who did not win… The first election was not a political election, but a TV vote by some 250 000 people for Finland’s best candidate for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The bookmaker’s money was on a Sara Siipola with “Mä oon Paskana” (“I am Shit” in English) who more or less imitated

Volta Greentech Cleans the Air!

Readers will see in our report presented to the Danish government on how greenhouse emissions from Denmark’s agricultural production can be reduced by the introduction of a carbon tax. This tax proposal could be combined with the innovative work of a Swedish company, Volta Greentech. They have succeeded to achieve significvant methane reduction using seaweed as a fodder additive. This work has now been recognised by governments in Sweden and in the UK. Volta Greentech have developed their project

It’s Really Important to Reduce Methane

A ruminant animal refers to a large group of herbivores with a four-chambered stomach that digest their food without thoroughly chewing it. Ruminant animals include cows, sheep, goats, moose, camels, deer, giraffes, and buffalos. Methane occurs when microorganisms in the rumen of ruminants break down the feed into fatty acids. The amount of methane that is formed is affected by the feed intake, but there is also great variation between animals which can be explained by the feed state,

Finland Glows Bright

By Christer Granlycke Embracing Innovation and Sustainability In the heart of the Nordic region, Finland stands as a beacon of progress, continuously pushing boundaries and embracing innovation in all spheres of life. As we step into 2024, the latest developments in Finland paint a picture of a nation thriving on the principles of sustainability, technology, and societal well-being. Green Revolution Finland’s commitment to sustainability has reached new heights with its ambitious green initiatives. The country’s renewable energy sector has

Revolutionerande Framsteg Inom Kvantteknologi

Av Christer Granlycke English abstract available here on this link I den ständigt framåtskridande världen av kvantteknologi har forskare vid Lunds universitet banat väg för banbrytande framsteg genom att utveckla en ny metod för att konstruera kretsar. Denna innovation innebär inte bara en förbättring av existerande kvantberäkningsmetoder utan kan också leda till skapandet av storskaliga kvantdatorer, vars potential för att lösa komplexa problem är oöverträffad. Traditionella datorer bygger på binära system, där information representeras av bitar som antingen är

Systematic Danish support for Ukraine

Denmark, along with other Nordic countries, is doing a fine job supporting Ukraine which put our American friends to shame. Two years ago, Russia launched its brutal, illegal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine️. Denmark continues to stand firmly behind Ukraine and the Ukrainian people’s fight for freedom and justice. In total, they have donated approximately €4.9 billion in military, civilian and humanitarian support and have committed more than €9 billion in support to Ukraine until 2028. Fact sheet

Danes Present Innovative Solution for Farm Emission Taxes

An expert group commissioned by the Danish government and Parliament have  presented a report with three proposals on how greenhouse emissions from Denmark’s agricultural production can be reduced by the introduction of a carbon tax. Professor Peter Birch Sørensen, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, a member of the expert group, and Bjarke Møller, Director of the Green Transition Denmark commented on the report’s findings. Agriculture accounts for a significant part of greenhouse gases in Denmark and in many other countries.

Finnish Politics – Death by a Thousand Cuts!

The government, together with the two employers’ unions, (EK and SY), have decided to face off the trade unions with major changes to worker’s rights, a cap on low income wages for workers not directly employed by the export sector, cuts in social benefits for low income folk, and possible increases in Value Added Taxes increases on food. The language of the confrontation from a of the few government ministers cannot be described as “hard love” – they are

A Culinary Spectacle

By Christer Granlycke The IKA/Culinary Olympics, the oldest, largest, and most diverse international culinary arts competition in the world, recently concluded its 26th edition in Stuttgart, Germany. This event, held from February 2 to 7, 2024, was a grand spectacle that brought together the most talented culinary artists from around the globe. The IKA/Culinary Olympics is not just a competition; it’s a celebration of culinary art. It’s where passion meets profession, and where chefs work on the perfect interaction

The Future – Black Swans & Boiled Frogs

”Black swan, boiled frog syndrome. Familiar metaphors when we talk about phenomena such as wars, climate change and pandemics. But instead of surprising us, they could almost always be predictable. That’s why we can influence what the future will look like.” says Arho Suominen, D.Sc.(Tech.), who recently joined VTT as Research Professor of Strategic Foresight. “If we look through the lens of Finland, it’s in everyone’s interest that we have competitive companies in the future. That’s why we need

Yiannis Part 1 – The Fastest Long-Lasting Legs

The Beginning This remarkable story begins in a small village outside Tripoli, in Greece. It was then no more than a scattered and isolated hard-working farming community, a community that barely had enough to keep themselves and families alive. In the 1950s, Greece was a country that had barely survived from the hardships of World War II and the Greek Civil War. The whole country had suffered significant losses and damage to infrastructure was beyond imagination… At dawn as the sun

Yiannis – Part 2 – His Rise from Obscurity

by Sami Vaskola  He knew that the only way to silence his doubters was to be better, stronger, a hero of those stories about which he has always read. The following year he crushed his own Spartathlon record, by finishing at the astounding time of 20h 25min., leaving no one in doubt about his capabilities. People then knew that there was something extraordinary about this “raw” young boy from the outskirts of Tripoli. “I was taught how to survive”,

Yiannis – Part 3 – The Ghost & Beyond

By Sami Vaskola.  There was the “ghost”, an undeniable crown for ultras, that the whole global running community believed that 300km in 24hours is an impossible peak to conquer. Thus, it came to pass, that on the early morning hours of October 4th, 1997, ten men and two females stood at the starting line for what became a one of the most monumental days in running. Shin slowly going down, eyes glazing into his worn shoes, and again, isolating

Europe’s Defense – Learning from the Nordic-Baltic

By Christer Granlycke Europe finds itself at a critical juncture, facing multifaceted security challenges that demand a robust and coordinated defence strategy. Recent analyses have shed light on both the vulnerabilities and the potential exemplars within Europe’s defence landscape, urging a proactive approach to fortify the continent’s security architecture. In the face of evolving threats, there is a growing consensus among experts that Europe’s defence capabilities are in urgent need of revitalization. A compelling analysis by CEPA underscores the

New Danish Global Powerhouse

By Christer Granlycke Innovating Sustainability: In the realm of sustainable solutions, two pioneering companies stand out for their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship: Novozymes and Novonesis. These industry leaders share a common goal of leveraging biotechnology to address global challenges while fostering sustainable development. Founded in 2000 as a spin-off from Novo Nordisk, Novozymes has since emerged as a frontrunner in the field of industrial enzymes and microorganisms. With a rich legacy dating back to the 1920s, Novozymes

Unveiling the Future of Artificial Intelligence

By Christer Granlycke Insights from the AI-Powered Solutions for Public Services Program In the era of rapid technological advancement, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront, revolutionizing various aspects of our lives. Recently, the Finnish Academy of Finland conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the AI-Powered Solutions for Public Services (AIPSE) program, shedding light on its transformative potential. The AIPSE program, initiated to harness AI’s capabilities in enhancing public services, has yielded remarkable insights and advancements. The evaluation report, compiled

Livscykelperspektiv För Ett Hållbart Samhälle

Av Christer Granlycke I dagens samhälle, där hållbarhet är en alltmer central fråga, är det viktigt att titta på produkters och tjänsters livscykel för att förstå deras verkliga påverkan på miljön och samhället. Genom att tillämpa ett livscykelperspektiv kan vi identifiera potentiella miljöpåverkningar i varje skede av en produkts existens, från råvaruutvinning till tillverkning, distribution, användning och avyttring. Enligt en analys utförd av Analysgruppen har det blivit allt tydligare att livscykelperspektivet är avgörande för att utveckla hållbara lösningar. Genom

Right-wing Presidential Candidates & Romanian Beggars!

There is a lot wrong with this presidential election and it has to do with money and taxes. We have learnt that two presidential candidates have received over €4 million for their campaigns. That money does not guarantee a better-quality candidate. One candidate, a Conservative Party member called Mr. Stubb, has received €2.5 million from rich supporters who are swimming in money, and whose objectives are to ensure that they have their man in place. The other candidate from

He Lies, and He Cheats – Who is this Conman?

He has openly supported foreign “strong men” like the gentlemen from Russia and North Korea who are nothing more than war criminals in our eyes. He is facing 90 very different legal indictments. He continues to proclaim his innocence even though a number of the courts have found him guilty. He still claims that he won the last election that was “stolen” from him, even though he lost election fair and square! He even pretends to be a president

ABB Marine’s Propulsion Reduces Fuel by some 22%

Responding to the need for greener, high-efficiency solutions in the shipbuilding market, ABB Marine & Ports set out to design a novel propulsion concept. VTT provided R&D support in developing the ABB Dynafin™️, an industry-first electric propulsion concept that breaks new ground in vessel efficiency. ABB Marine & Ports supplies technologies that drive the evolution of sustainable shipping with electrical propulsion, data-driven decision support and integrated solutions for ship and shore. Around 90% of global trade is carried by

Increased Temperature Difference Affects Earth Life

 Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, in Sweden, have discovered a change in what scientists already knew about global warming dynamics. It had been widely accepted since the 1950s that global temperature rises were not consistent throughout the day and night, with greater nighttime warming being observed. However, the recent study reveals a shift in dynamics: with greater daytime warming taking place since the 1990s. This shift means that the temperature difference between day and night is widening, potentially

Ammonia as a Shipping Fuel is Risky

The use of ammonia as a ship fuel can contribute to eutrophication (increases in harmful levels of phosphorous) and acidification, due to ammonia leakage and emissions of nitrogen oxides. One of the possible emissions is laughing gas, which is also a greenhouse gas with a much higher warming impact than carbon dioxide. Switching to ammonia as a marine fuel, with the goal of decarbonisation, can instead create entirely new problems. This is shown in a study from Chalmers University

SINTEF – Pioneering Innovation for Better Society

By Christer Granlycke Have you ever heard of SINTEF? Neither had I before I started to deeper research Norway and what is going on there, in a positive and productive way. SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, with a multidisciplinary expertise in technology, natural sciences, and social sciences. It has been responsible for innovation through development and research projects for industrial and public sector clients in Norway and abroad since 1950. As one of Europe’s largest

Finnish Politics – Government by Bullies & Cowards

You could only watch and listen with shock and dismay at the True Finns representative on Finnish TV the other evening. Their MP, Jani Mäkelä, was arrogant in the extreme when he gave the impression that workers and the unions are fools because he said that the strikes will have no impact on government policy, would achieve nothing, and that talking with the unions was a waste of time. He did not answer questions put to him by the

Are They Real Presidential Candidates?

Finland’s Presidential Race is now a race to the finishing line between two candidates Stubb and Haavisto. Stubb received 27.2% of the votes and Haavisto received 25.8%, putting them neck and neck at the start of the Second Round with 53% of the votes. This result was expected, but what was a real shocker was that the 6 male candidates secured some 89.3% of the votes, while the 3 female candidates only received only 10.7% of the total! Finns

Finnish Politics This Week – Present Danger!

Don’t hold you breath for Round 2 for whoever of the two wins the presidential contest. If Stubb or Haavisto wins, then we will have a reasonable chance he will do fine since there are few differences between the two of them. The Big News is that the others did not pass the litmus test and for that we must be very thankful! Our biggest challenge that we are facing here today is not choosing a president, nor is

Finnish Pension Companies – Deserved Criticism

Some 20 and 30 years ago, your correspondent published various articles in several of Finland’s national media about the unnecessary high costs and poor investment policies of the Finnish pension system… Then it was estimated that these bodies paid around 1.25% of their €100 billion investment funds for their management, other staff, and administrative costs plus what they pay to outside fund managers and banks that handle their investment business. The total amount was then estimated to equal some

Helsinki’s Private Parking Mafia!

Readers will know that Finland has a love of natural monopolies and its little sister oligopolies – the latter two have another word that describes them “cartel cheats”! On the retail side we have two companies that have more than a 80% share for household and items groceries (Kesko and S-Group) and similar household items that are found on every corner of every town and city throughout the whole country. Political contributions keep people like LIDL (just 10% market

Clean Cosmetics from Finnish Bark

Sustainability is a crucial demand from consumers, especially among young generations. This statement is especially true for cosmetics with a history of negative publicity related to animal testing and the use of chemical ingredients. The Finnish start-up Innomost has developed a raw material for the cosmetic industry based solely on renewable materials. The raw material is birch bark, entirely free from plastics and palm oil. “Birch bark is used for various purposes including dry shampoos, skin exfoliating creams, and

Forestry Revolution for Paint & Skin Creams

By Axel Fox As a consumer of cosmetics, do you know what your products contain and how they are produced? Or, when you are repainting the house / apartment / room, what is it you’re brushing up the walls with? Currently, the cosmetics industry is trying to address the whole lifecycle of its products, including the ethical and responsible use of ingredients, fair trade, resources used during the manufacture, management of waste and residues, and the use of recyclable,

Waterproof Wood-based WCs, Sinks, & Bathtubs!

Success does not come easy if you want to disrupt the traditional market that almost exclusively has installed porcelain toilets, sinks and bathtubs market more than the last 100 years! We all know that wood can be used for baths, sinks, buckets, barrels but their use is tricky and requires special handling to stop mold, leaks, and rot. Why go to all that trouble when we have porcelain, metals, and stones… It was the commonly held view that the

Presidential Makeovers are Dangerous

When you go to a family wedding, your mother and sisters will look very different and a little strange with too much make-up, funny hairstyles, silly hats, and awful dresses… … and so it is with the our leading contenders for the presidential election here in Finland at the end of January. Many of the nine candidates have been dressed up to look like solid, nice people who are polite and avoid saying anything that might be construed as

Ouch! True Finns Dislike Free Speech & Foreigners

Run to your bomb shelters… The leaders of the True Finns, who share some interesting similarities to George Orwell’s anthropomorphic farm animals, have blasted their fog horns loud and clear in recent public statements: You must not address them with names they don’t like because they will sue you in court… (use your Imagination to coin up a few obvious alternatives, or see below). They don’t like the Finnish Broadcasting Company called “YLE” because they are not repeating the

Inhumane Treatment of our Weakest Pensioners

This troubling article illustrates what is happening with care of those elderly patients who are not able to care for themselves. This solution, with few positive exceptions, borders on the cruel and nasty, and voters’ demands for improvements are being ignored by the successive governments. It has been going on for too long and the present right-wing government appears to distract attention away from this serious problem to talk about fast trains and the threats of immigration! Fact: Care

Helsinki – Bonkers Politics!

Did you know that over 20 new hotels have been opened in central Helsinki this last two decades, and most of them have around 40% empty rooms, and more are being built and planned… Did you know that parking in Helsinki for a couple of hours costs €15, when just 10 minutes from the center all the shopping mall carparks give us free parking for 2 hours… Did you know that there are more empty shops and offices than

Finnish Politics This Week – “Presidential What?”

It has been a painful few weeks, for two good reasons. First, we will be having an election to choose a new president and, second, we have a government than is steering a sinking ship! First the election for president Back in the old days we were served up a president from what is now called the leftovers in the food and beverage industry. Then presidents were former older politicians who were approaching their “best before date”. They stayed

F-35 Fighters Bring Finland’s VTT & Lockheed Together

Finland’s Ministry of Defence and Lockheed Martin have taken the first steps in the new agreed F-35 fighter program. VTT, alongside a consortium that includes key Finnish universities, is helping to ensure that Finland has the best possible technological capabilities for the implementation of the F-35 fighter program and its maintenance throughout its life cycle. Research consortium led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lockheed Martin have finalised a framework agreement for indirect industrial cooperation. Other members

Packaging – Plastic Out, Wood Fibre In!

Three big Finnish groups, Valmet, Metsä Spring, and VTT, have come together to develop novel 3D fibre products that have the potential to replace traditional plastics, especially in single-use packaging. Valmet is a leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Metsä is an international forest industry group and an operating frontrunner in sustainable bioeconomy. Metsä Spring is a well-established subsidiary company that invests in and supports promising startups

Megalomaniac Spends on War While Russians Suffer & Die

Ukraine has never been a threat to Russia – it is not now and never was! Putin claims that there are Nazis in Ukraine who are a danger to Russia without ever explaining who they are and what are they doing. Without facts we must assume that he is lying because this madness has continued for 2 years as a full-scale war and 9 years from the first limited invasion of Crimea. Before the Second World War, we could

What Do Americans Think about Their Constitution?

It looks like that they have a strong belief in their Constitution that guarantees them to have the greatest nation in the world – why else has it endured for so long? This belief is drilled into everybody who normally learn by heart most, if not all, of the Constitution’s Preamble as reprinted here: ”We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,

It’s Obvious Why New Finnish Homes are Shoddy

Several articles have been published recently on how foreign construction workers have been employed through third-party companies using contracts that are far from what is acceptable or even legal for local workers. Their wages have been well below what Finns are paid, and according to these articles, these third-party companies appear to have deliberately not paid payroll taxes and other compulsory costs for each worker. The result has been that the construction companies have been able to benefit from

Kemppi Group’s 2023 Strategy Award for Kempower

The Finnish family company Kemppi Group Oy receives the Strategy Action of the Year recognition for the successful spin-off of Kempower. The award was made possible by Kemppi Oy’s strong technology know-how and its internal innovative development work in extending the know-how and welding solutions to the charging operation. This 2023 award from the Strategic Management Society of Finland (SSJS) is for an exceptional strategy that has contributed positively to Finland. Kempower designs and manufactures reliable and user-friendly DC fast charging

Finnish Companies Innovate With Plant Proteins

VTT and Finnish food industry join forces for development of new plant protein value chains, boosted by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Cost-efficient and high-quality plant-based food ingredients generate income both for farmers and food manufacturers and enable production of plant-based foods that consumers are eager to buy and enjoy. For building a sustainable food system, changing from heavy consumption of meat and animal-based products into more plant-based diets is critical. Currently, only a few plant protein ingredients, mostly

Fitness or strength – which is best for health?

By Axel Fox New research shows that cardio training is better than strength training to counteract type 2 diabetes. But when it comes to counteracting other diseases and losing weight, the choice is no longer as obvious. The tug-of-war over which training gives the most health for the money – strength training or cardio training – is constantly going on in various training forums. But what does the research really say? A new study at Karolinska Institutet now shows

Kondition eller styrka – vilket är bäst för hälsan?

By Axel Fox Ny forskning visar att konditions­träning är bättre än styrke­träning för att motverka typ 2-diabetes. Men när det kommer till att motverka andra sjukdomar och gå ner i vikt är valet inte längre lika självklart. Dragkampen om vilken träning som ger mest hälsa för pengarna – styrke­träning eller konditions­träning – pågår ständigt i diverse träningsforum. Men vad säger egentligen forskningen? Nu visar en ny studie vid Karolinska institutet att mångårig konditionsträning minskar risken för diabetes typ två. Detta för att

Money Makes The World…

By Axel Fox In the famous tune of… It was in the year 1960 that the phrase “Money makes the world go round” was first used in the Cabaret music album. The Cabaret music album was classified under the genre of melancholy in which the female protagonist displays her intense aspiration for love to which the counterpart replies her plea with rhythmic song. The core concept here is that it is the factor of money that controls the entire

Sorry – It’s a Sad & Murderous Christmas

Your correspondent cannot write anything good about this Christmas because there are just too many bad things happening around us from political leaders at home and abroad… … and the bad news is that these people are being elected either in good or rotten elections. Let’s look at the list of such matters that is the rational for the headline of this article: At home here in Finland, there is a freshly elected right-wing government that promised fiscal responsibility,

Finnish Banks Crush Competition

For the last 15 years, at least, the biggest Finnish banks have stifled competition with help from the government that has strangely always claimed that they believe in open markets! During that whole crazy period when the European Central Bank imposed negative interest rates on the financial markets, the Financial Supervision here and other market regulators allowed the banks to stop giving the benefit of negative interest rates to private individuals and other small borrowers. In other words, if

Time to Inspect Orban’s Accounts

The international media has been writing and talking about corruption at the highest levels in Hungry for many years. Transparency International reported in 2022 that Hungary was seen as the most corrupt country in the EU – see above graphic. In 2022, the EU had demanded that Orban’s government start tackling corruption or “risk losing EU funds”. So far only low-ranking officials have been charged, while no senior officials have been visited by members of the law enforcement. The fact that

Ett Samhälle utan Ekonomisk Tillväxt – Funkar det?

By Axel Fox Det kan bli nödvändigt att bryta dagens konsumtionstrend för att hushålla med jordens resurser. Men nolltillväxt kan öppna för ett samhälle som både är mer hållbart och samtidigt mer tillfredsställande att leva i, enligt forskare som undersökt vad som händer om tillväxten avstannar. All samhällsplanering i västvärlden utgår idag från att vi konsumerar och att tillväxt är normen. Samtidigt har många forskare funderat över hur rimligt det är. Fyra mål: Sverige ska vara fossilfritt år 2050

Ukrainians in Norway – Finding Jobs Quickly

Half of Ukrainian refugees go straight into work after participating in a Norwegian introduction programme. Karolina Tsymbala is one of the approximately 16.000 Ukrainians who are currently taking part in an introduction programme and learning Norwegian. – “I have the opportunity to learn something and to be doing something in practice. I hope I get a job in the near future. That’s my main goal. A year ago, I couldn’t even think about it. Now it has become part

Republicans Start to Resemble Communists!

In the United States one would be quite ready to accept the idea that, under Donald Trump, the extreme right wing of the Republican party is not only supporting Communists in different countries but also have become Communists. The characteristics of communists are the following: They are generally led by despots who have no hesitation in arranging the election process in their favour, and in feeding the electorate with lies or fake news about themselves and the opposition. The

Different Scenarios of War!

Företagsledare, politiker, generaler; de flesta använder sig av skisserade möjliga framtida händelseutvecklingar baserade på bland annat historiska fakta och analyser av nutiden för att skapa en eller flera färdplaner där det även ingår ett antal olika konsekvensanalyser. Ett fåtal använder sig av ett aggregerat och itererat tillvägagångssätt som i forskningsvärlden kallas för ”Crowd Intelligence” eller ”Wisdom of the Crowd”. En metod som har skapades redan på 1800-talet. By Axel Fox, Our Swedish Correspondent – written 18 months ago… När man

Electric Man – Episode 2

By Our Swedish Correspondent. In July EU published the “European Green Deal” and one section described the future for road transport to complement emissions trading. Stronger CO2 emissions standards for cars and vans would accelerate the transition to zero-emission mobility by requiring average emissions of new cars to come down by 55% from 2030 and 100% from 2035 compared to 2021 levels. As a result, all new cars registered as of 2035 will be zero-emission.  We all stood up and cheered the EU

Electric Man – Episode 1

 By Our Swedish Correspondent The Nordic power system is a mixture of generation sources, where hydro, nuclear and wind power are the main sources. The Nordic region has many energy intensive industries and a large share of electricity heated houses. Therefore, the electricity consumption and the electricity’s share of total power use is higher than in the rest of the EU. Development of electricity consumption is highly influenced by the weather during the year, with lower electricity demand in

We’re Out of Juice!

By Our Anxious Swedish Correspondent and published here in Finnish News two years ago ! “This price shock cannot be underestimated,” EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson told MEPs during a debate in Strasbourg on Wednesday (6 October). The increase in energy prices, driven by a surge in gas demand and tight supply, and their knock-on effect on consumers and industry bills have put the EU bloc’s economic recovery under pressure. Growing energy crisis can become even more serious In

Finnish Politics This Week – Carelessness

The True Finns have at last received their shining black Mercedes and BMW ministerial cars, as well as some powerful ministerial jobs. They have joined the Conservatives to form a right-wing block government! Impressive… Just before the last general election in April this year, the True Finns published the following statement in their manifesto: “3: Finns need to be cared for – One million Finns live at or below the poverty line. Low income affects your whole life and your

Nothing Should Stop EU’s Support for Ukraine

The media is full of stories about how Orbán is trying to blackmail the EU by stopping a consensus decision to support Ukraine as this heroic country defends itself against Putin’s criminal war machine. We know that Orbán has crossed the line by continuing to trade with Russia, thus paying cash into Russia’s war economy, and by breaking with the principles of the Rule of Law. The EU has correctly withheld our funds to which poorer EU member states

Finnish Politics – Hysteria & Dumb Budget Cuts

There has been a certain amount of hysteria in political circles because some mainly 500 men from Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan have arrived on bicycles and kick scooters at the Russia-Finnish border posts. Most of them have asked for refugee status. There is nothing particularly alarming about their arrival except for the fact that the border posts are in the middle of nowhere in the northern parts of Finland, surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of empty forests, with temperatures

Asian Berry Pickers & School Children Conned

Too many hard-working Asians are being seduced by the promise of high wages to pick berries in our Finnish forests. The reality for many is that they end up performing back-breaking work 7 days a week for more than 12 to 14 hours a day in mosquito-infested cold wet forests – in conditions that no Finn would ever dream of doing. Many such workers are forced to rent low level basic accommodation that few Finns would accept, and many

Trust… There is too little around!

Finnish voters will tell foreign readers that the present government here made two big election promises – they would reduce the public debt, and that they are there for all the people… However, but 8 months later they have increased public debt, increased sales tax on daily consumables, reduced public support for low income folk, and reduced taxes significantly for those earning more than €10 000 each month. The average monthly salary here is around €3 500, and that

Russian Attacks in Berlin, Paris, Italy & Hungary

Would you stand by and do nothing? If you live in London, Paris, Berlin, or Rome none of you would accept that Russian soldiers run through the city and kill men, women and children. Would you stand by and do nothing? If you live in Poland or Hungary none of you would accept that Russian bombs and missiles hit schools, hospitals and train stations. Of course not, because you have already seen what they did to your parents and

Why Should He Get More Pay or Less Pay?

The big and powerful employers union, Confederation of Finnish industries, (EK for short), has made the following statement in the media this week: ”Salaries in the public sector cannot rise faster than in the private sector.” Negotiations on the new labor market model for workers’ pay are starting this year here in Helsinki, and EK along with their right-wing friends in government are making sure that wages in the public sector are kept below those wages in the private

They Lost Some €6 billion But Continued…

Here is an interesting story of corporate mismanagement on one of Finland’s largest companies called Fortum. This is a Finnish energy utility (power heat and transmission), whose majority owner is the Finnish government. It was historically focused on hydropower and was formed in 1998 by the merging of Neste Oyj (an oil refinery) and Imatran Voima Oy (hydro & nuclear) – Neste was eventually spun off in 2005! Fortum sold their electricity transmission company to a group of private

UK Down the Brexit Drain

Your correspondent has just spent a week in the UK with family and friends. Most of the time was spent in Brighton, a small city, full of students and tourists, with a normal infrastructure that you would expect in any British city. Apart from a very enjoyable time, spent with family and friends, one can really wonder what an earth is happening in a country it was once well kept and tidy. Today places like Brighton are full of

Corona & Cheese Slicers

Finland like many other countries is already seeing a wave of the Corona virus with a rapid increase in infections has been noted for the last 6 weeks and what did the Minister in charge of healthcare say? “It has come early and we were not expecting such an early rise in infections particularly among the elderly who are most at risk…” Vaccinations are late with the elderly expected to stand in long queues, à la Soviet Union, in

Politicians – No Excuses for Healthcare Disaster

All the big political parties here have known for the last 20 to 30 years that the Finnish society will age like a barrel of fine cognac. Given that this was a clear and indisputable fact then, you would have thought that these clever people would have been well prepared! There was more than enough time for them to have solved the challenges of an aging population, which are the following: An aging population and increasing need for healthcare

Swedes Have “Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Back a few decades ago in the 1960s and 1970s, in the prehistoric times when the Finns had their own currency, there was a huge amount of criticism from economists that Finland is mismanaging its economy with the result that the Finnish Mark is devalued once again. The comments came from leading politicians and the head of the Bank of Finland, the central bank here, one of whom later became President of the country! Economists were around then but

Putin – Guilty of War Crimes in Ukraine

Russian men are being sent to their death and mutilation in Ukraine in a brutal war the objective of which is to make Ukraine part of Russia. Putin thinks that he is a War Hero, but he does not stand with his soldiers – he just hides in a bunker because he is scared to face ordinary Russians who are being asked to pay his war games with their lives. We have all read stories about how some Russian

Wonderful Opera and Ballet in Helsinki

Messa da Requiem by Verdi is being presented in Helsinki with the Zurich Ballet and Finland’s National Opera and Ballet. The German choreographer Christian Spuck has worked wonders with his Finnish and Swiss colleagues here. Messa da Requiem is being performed here in Helsinki until 18.11.2023. The performance was incredible and well beyond any prior expectation of this wonderful music. It is a performance that is better than any other in classical or modern music, classical or contemporary pop,

Did Finland’s Former PM do a Runner?

During the last 30 years four political parties have each enjoyed around 20% shares of the votes with occasional lapses down to around 10%. Two other parties manage to secure around 10% with the rest achieving between 1% to 5%. This means that coalitions are the rule and involve many combinations of parties across the political spectrum. Until recently the parties were reasonably conservative in keeping to the same rather dreary manifestos and avoiding extreme outbursts of populism. This

The Free World is Horrified at This!

It is interesting to watch the muted reaction of Nordic leaders to the meeting between Mr. Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, and Putin. The meeting with the leader of Hungary, a member of Nato and the EU, is a major coup for the Kremlin, which is using the trip to defy western attempts to isolate Russia. Western nations have criticised Orban for acting in Putin’s interests since his brutal invasion of Ukraine by delaying sanctions, refusing to provide

Fossil Leaders Prefer Fossil Fuels

What has this world come to? We have the leaders of the free world who are all supporting Israel that has been deliberately pushing the people of Palestine to the brink where they resort to terrorist attacks. Then, we have Israel that appears to deliberately attack civilians as a retribution and evict Palestinians from their homes with force. This is situation is so bad that one must wonder what leaders from both sides have been doing all these years. Israel

Finland’s Rational View of Nuclear Power vs Coal…

There is much debate about nuclear plants and their safety – but much less about the safety of coal-fired plants. Germany has been building new coal-fired plants and the coal lobby is supremely active in a small number coal producing and user nations in the EU, the USA, India, China and Australia, inter alia. Finland has a cold climate and that requires heating for homes, offices and commercial properties for 6 months, at least, each year… …and we have

Shared Reckless Populism in Italian & Finnish Governments

The Finnish government does not have a monopoly on foolishness, as we have seen recently from the behaviour of the Italian Government led by Ms. Meloni. The two governments share one thing in common apart from some right-wing extremism – they both want to give support for bigger tax reductions to the better off and claim that this will stimulate the economy to eventually reduce the governments’ never-ending deficits. Both governments are facing budget deficits and high levels of

Surprises About Relative Size of EU+Allies & USA

Some think that Europe should just muddle through rather than having clearly agreed long term objectives, because the USA, China and India will decide our fate. They say that Europe is too divided with the big countries having leaders with huge egos who are unable to cooperate properly – just take a look at how Scholz and Macron fail to agree on basics… Somehow these doubters overlook the great achievements of modern Europe. We have managed to organize a

Time to Eject Russia from UN Security Council

Putin and his gang of thugs are repeating the same atrocities in Ukraine that he ordered in Syria. Targeting villages, hospitals and schools with lethal missiles that kill innocent civilians and their children is about as cruel as it gets. One must wonder why he does this… there cannot be any good reason. This world cannot accept such action, and him and all of his supporters are equally guilty of serious and brutal war crimes. Russia should be removed

How Bike Start-Up Disrupted Car Addiction

GoByBike Finland Ltd. is no ordinary start-up – it has been a great success in changing attitudes to biking in this country – where most working people use public transport or their work car benefit. Now they can pedal all the way on a shiny new electric bike or trekking bike. Your correspondent has seen how the Danes, and Dutch happily go about town on their bikes, keeping their air clean and their people a little more healthy. Now

Finland is Perfect Market for Doctors

Everyone is complaining here that it takes too long to see your doctor in your public healthcare center. You normally wait for two weeks, at least, before they find time, except in emergencies! When you go to a private healthcare center things are a little better. They only work office hours and most of the times are booked up until next week, and it will cost you €200 plus another €200 for laboratory fees! That is a big amount

Spartathlonn 2023 – A Women’s Thriller

The 2023 Spartathlon turned into an all-time women’s series thriller that started at dawn on Saturday morning on the last day of September. Many of the best ultra runners in the world started from the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, such as; Satu Lipiäinen FIN (12h ME result holder), Camille Herron USA (24h ME and 48h ME), Diana Dzaviza LAT (two-time Spartathlon winner), Noora Honkala FIN (6x Spartathlon visitor, 2021 Spartathlon third), and many other world’s toughest ultra

VTT, Nokia & Sandvik Autonomous Mining 5G+AI

Underground mines are challenging environments for safe operation of autonomous machines, but next generation digital solutions could change that. A joint R&D project coordinated by VTT shows the potential of industrial 5G and edge intelligence in this field and creates new solutions for safe underground mining. VTT, Nokia and Sandvik, together with other Finnish companies, have taken steps towards deploying state-of-the-art 5G private wireless networks and edge intelligence to support autonomous mining. The mission of the Next Generation Mining

Reality Check – Private Sector Fallacies

Some right-wing financial folk in Finland (That’s right, it was Mr. Wahlroos again!) have recently said that governments are a poor owner of companies, meaning, implicitly, that the private sector is a shining owner who knows best. Readers will recall the article in FinnishNews (FN 13.1.23) about Citigroup Inc, one of the largest banks in the USA, that was reaching its lowest share price… https://www.finnishnews.fi/business-finance/citigroup-inc-hits-bottom-of-barrel-again/ Now, 9 months later their share price has not seen too much progress –

Finnish Care Homes – Dumpsters For Elderly

An over-80 close friend’s mother (let’s call her Emma) who suffers from dementia was suddenly left without the support of her husband when he collapsed and was sent immediately to hospital with a dilapidating muscular problem. Emma was also taken to an emergency temporary care-home that was very different from her secure and calm home where she knew her way around. She had to share a room with three other elderly ladies in various states of distress. One moaned

Laugh or Cry – Right-Wing Lefties In Finnish Politics

One of the wealthiest people in Finland is a moustached elderly man who owns a large part of Nordea Bank and big manor house in Finland called Mr. Wahlroos. In order to avoid inheritance tax, he moved to Sweden in what must be regarded as a completely selfish act given that he owes his education, healthcare, use of basic infrastructure, and most of his wealth to Finland. Almost all Finns, with the exception of a few very rich individuals

Go Digital Young Man… the Kiss of Death!

Your correspondent had to move to a new house just 30 km from Helsinki and install an optic fiber internet connection, receive new credit cards because he thought that the old ones were stolen, and buy a new smart phone because the three-year old one was playing up and not working as it should. First the new house… Mobile operators have effectively carved up the regions for themselves and are able to arrange monopoly pricing if the site of

Finnish Politics this week – Knickers in a Twist

The Conservatives and True Finns have “Got their knickers in a twist”, and before readers get upset about being politically correct, they should read the note here: The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms writes this: “get your knickers in a twist” means to become upset or angry and was originally used specifically of women, the humorous masculine equivalent being get your Y-fronts in a twist. The Finnish Prime Minister, Mr. Orpo, and his second in command, Ms. Pura, the Finance

Presidential Candidate Banker Happy to Sink Economy

If your correspondent was a presidential candidate here in Finland, (a Presidential election is coming soon…), he would certainly make every effort to show that he was working for Finland and not for some employer who has very different interests! Mr. Rehn, the head of the Finnish central bank, and a member of the European Central Bank (ECB) board, appears to have an agenda that is creating severe economic problems for Finland and many Finns because the ECB is

Finnish Politics – Nonsense This Week!

As Elvis sang in Wooden Heart: “Treat me nice, treat me good Treat me like you really should… … Please don’t break my heart in two…” Voters should be treated with respect, and that means one thing – if promises are made before the election, then after the election they must be kept… In Finland, this is not being done by the new governing coalition, and there is very little that voters can do to get rid of these

Helsinki In Middle of Unethical Behaviour!

The City of Helsinki owns a company called HEKA that builds and rents out thousands of apartments in Helsinki to ordinary working folk and pensioners who choose to rent either because they cannot afford to buy a home or because their work is not sufficiently permanent for them to settle in Helsinki. Many of the tenants are low income or pensioners who may also be receiving financial support to rent such a home in Helsinki. The city needs workers

The Blessings & Curses of Italian Families in Mountains

Your correspondent always enjoys a few weeks hiking in the Dolomite mountains with the family. However, Covid and work put it on hold for a couple of years, but now, in August 2023, we were able to return to one of our favorite spots – a spot that shall remain secret because it is too nice to share! The best thing about the small villages here is that they are small communities nested between towering mountains with pastures and

High Speed Trains Need Commuters

The new Finnish ministers are not good at maths – it is clear that they do not have a clue about balancing budgets. The first thing their former colleagues did was to build a couple of motorways between Helsinki and Lahti and Helsinki and Turku by paying Skanska to build them for an annual service fee paid over some 20 years after which it became the government’s property. Skanska is the biggest Nordic construction company, and they understood the

Greetings from Munich’s National Socialist Regime

Your correspondent, like the rest of the world has been hearing a lot about all those Nazis in Ukraine from the mouth of Putin! The accusation is a pure fabrication, that Putin seeks to justify his attack on Ukraine. There may be a few hundred right wing extremists posing as threats in Ukraine, but they are in no way a risk to the security of Russia and certainly no justification for this brutal invasion. Your correspondent wanted to check

Putin is Biggest Threat to Russia & Russians

Why would any responsible leader behave like this by deliberately sending thousands of men to fight their brothers in Ukraine with fake news that they are somehow a threat to Russia? Russia’s military casualties have risen to incredible heights. Officials say they are approaching 300,000. The number includes as many as 120,000 deaths and 170,000 to 180,000 injured troops. The Russian numbers dwarf the Ukrainian figures, which the officials put at close to 70,000 killed and 100,000 to 120,000

Presidents for Sale… Roll Up, Roll Up!

Finnish politics has turned rather sour with the election for President which will take place next year. The list of candidates is splattered with “Have-Beens” and a few political broilers who seem to think that they are automatically god’s gift to Finnish voters! To date there is only one who is not part of political party and already the main media are already downplaying his chances of winning the vote, just because he is not being supported by any

Politicians Seek to Kill Finland’s Equality

Finland has always benefited hugely from the concept of equality: One man and one woman have one vote each at elections. Our political leaders are normally honest upright people. Laws are fair and we are all equal before the law – corruption is low. Every Finn gets to have a free education from Primary school Vocational Colleges and University. We understand the importance of knowledge, culture and languages. Universal low-cost healthcare is still here but under attack. Those in

Racism Does Not Exist in Finland, But Bigotry Does

The other day your correspondent was warmly greeted at the local health center by two children with darker skin than me – probably Thailand or Philippines I assumed. They spoke perfect Finnish, were polite and dressed well. Their mother came out of the doctor’s office and smiled when she saw the children talking with me. She nodded smiling, and said in fluent Finnish, “Thanks for looking after them… It’s time to go shopping now..!” They left and I felt

Banks & Forestry Company Bosses on Psychedelics

When the price of board and paper went sky-high (see the graph below) our three big forestry companies started making a record profits because they had huge warehouses of lumber and easy access to large swaths of forests, which they could use to make more pulp and board for Amazon and China at even higher prices. The three CEOs of these companies were regarded to be business geniuses we a few years over ever-increasing record results for shareholders and

Finnish Politics This Week – New Clangers

Two ministers from the 20% Conservative Party have made public comments that even surprise any thinking person as being completely bonkers… The first comment was something like the following: Finland will not achieve Climate Change objectives by 2035 because it is not realistic… … and the forest industry does not need to reduce cutting down trees to produce toilet paper for the Chinese because it is impossible to calculate how much carbon is captured in forests, but capturing carbon dioxide

To Russian People – Putin’s Cruelty Equals Hitler’s

Writing about Putin and his brutal war in Ukraine is important because people must understand that what he is doing is identical to what Adolf Hitler was doing 75 years ago. … and nobody can deny that they do not know what he did: He sent his own men and women to their deaths because he wanted to grab large parts of Europe that did not belong to Germany. He bombed London and many other major cities. He gassed

Why does Finnish Swedish Folk Party Sit on Fence?

The Swedish Folks Party holds the key to the continuation of the farce of Finnish politics. Their 5% share of the popular vote in the last election gives the right-wing block a thin majority in Parliament where the two larger parties each have some 21% shares respectively. The other small party the Christian Democrats (also 5%) appear to think that they should not throw the first stone at the bigots who appear to be openly permitted by the True

Bigotry Hijacks Finnish Parliament

Now and then you may have heard people saying, “If you are not qualified to get the sort of job you think you deserve, then you can always be a politician.” This saying appears applicable to Finland today because we have seen how bigotry has hijacked the Finnish parliament by right-wing extremists who have certainly never done any meaningful work in the real economy. Their CVs expose a series of jobs as assistants to various bigwigs in the party

Badger&Co – Great Pitas in Central Helsinki

They open with food at 16:00h and they are worth a visit because the chef is a really professional cook – lots of experience in some of Finland’s best restaurants – but he wanted to have a life where he is in direct contact with hungry clients with food that you can actually dream about! Pita is a traditional Mediterranean delicacy that has now found its way to Helsinki as well. Their handmade pitas are baked in their kitchen

Due Diligence was Ignored by Finland’s Prime Minister

Every professional investor and every professional financial analyst always perform Due Diligence thoroughly when making or recommending important investments or employing key staff. A Due Diligence process normally involves third parties who have better access to numerical data and networks that can reveal matters that need to be revealed or verified. Your correspondent has worked for over 50 years in the financial markets, and it is impossible to make any major investment decision or employ staff without deep and

The Slow Death of Helsinki’s Public Transport

Public transport in the greater metropolitan area in and around Helsinki has been developed over the past decades with big increases in lines for buses, trains, and trams. It all started with buses and a few trains inside and around Helsinki. Busses were cheap and people could choose between slow or express buses to most destinations for commuting. Helsinki was full of shops and most suburbs had a reasonable sprinkling of local shops for the daily needs. There were

Finland Used to be a Nice Place…

We were lucky to have had a group of reasonable leaders from well-mixed coalitions in this country, but that was before… Now, after the recent elections in April, we are faced with a stone-faced, right-wing government made up of a collection of unsuited and unsuitable wannabes. Some people say that diversity is the strength, but when you pack a group of squabbling and argumentative children in one room, most of the time you get useless noise… The two largest

Central Bankers on Inflammatory Drugs

Central bankers are guilty of GroupThink, meaning that they don’t think for themselves, but just follow the others like sheep. When we came out of Covid, they were throwing petrol on the flames by what they call “Quantitive Easing”, which are just fancy words for buying huge amounts of government bonds to lower interest rates. They appeared to believe that lower interest rates or zero interest rates would seduce companies to invest in factories and get consumers to buy

Putin Murders Victoria Amelina, a 27-year-old Novelist

Victoria Amelina, a Ukrainian novelist, was murdered on the orders of Russia’s President Putin. He is ordering missiles to be fired at specific targets – one restaurant in Kramatorsk was chosen where this well-known novelist was eating pizza with a group of Columbian journalists. She was the author of two novels and a children’s book, a winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award and a European Union Prize for Literature finalist. Victoria Amelina was born in Lviv on 1

Steady Energy Raises €2m for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

The VTT spin-out will build a heating plant powered by a small nuclear reactor, designed to produce heat efficiently, safely and carbon-neutrally, at considerably lower temperature and pressure than traditional nuclear reactors. Steady Energy, a spin-out company from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, that aims to decarbonise the energy-intensive heating industry starting with residential and district heating, has raised EUR 2 million in seed funding led by VTT, Yes VC and Lifeline Ventures. Steady Energy aims to build the world’s first

Finland’s Prime Minister Dives into Mud!

The newly appointed PM here in Helsinki, Mr. Orpo, could not be more different from his predecessor, Sana Marin. She was always clear and thorough in her opinions and actions. She managed Covid well and was masterful, together with our President, in handling the NATO matter after the war criminal next door invaded Ukraine. This Prime Minister wanted a right-wing government because he wanted a right-wing government. He claimed the moral high ground by claiming that his party can

One-Hour Train Scandal for 220km Trip

Our new PM has just announced a new pet project as part of a government policy bible that  promises to deliver a €6 billion saving in public services. The project is a train line that will take passengers some 220km from Helsinki to Turku (a small city of 186 000 people) in just one hour. The official estimated costs is €3.7 billion which is not optimistic, but an outright joke. The cost will end up being nearer to €6

Too Many Building Workers are Over-Paid & Untrained

Your correspondent has just finished building a new CLT-house near Helsinki and can only say that God help people who build. The whole supply chain with few exceptions is poorly organized and awfully inefficient. Electricians and plumbers (LVI workers in Finnish) have to train and secure a qualification before working on a building site but most to of the rest are untrained, unqualified and cost far too much. We were lucky to have a good group of workers who

Finnish Politics This Week – Money Wasted…

The new government is preparing for governing the next four years and the 4 main parties in this coalition are preparing to cut public services for healthcare and education to save money while spending money on increasing costs for buying the same services from private companies… They aim to save €6 billion over the next 4 years… That is quite a piece of magic because your correspondent has never seen that any private sector costs below public sector costs…

Fasters Roads and Trains Lines – Bad Political Priorities!

No matter where you are, in London, Sydney, New York, Paris or Helsinki, you have all seen that motorways are full of traffic during rush hours and the holidays. Building one more grand project does little or nothing to relieve traffic jams or crowded trains… especially if motorways are built first… Motorways are hard on our environment because they use oil, sand‚ steel and concrete in huge volumes. The cars and trucks that use them use plastic, metals, and fossil

Test AI by Asking “Is Trump Dishonest?”

The answer will come back saying that he has told lies – many in fact on a regular basis and he keeps on repeating many even though they are not true! The Washington Post have listed over 30 000 lies! However, this wonderful electronic calculator does not simply state that he is dishonest, but goes into a long explanation that appears to absolve him from dishonesty in the eyes of his supporters! The final statements make Trump appear to

Finnish Politics This Week – Private Healthcare Glee!

Finland has a very profitable private healthcare system for those who can afford it, and a run-down public sector that badly needs resources to improve preventive medicine as well as to care for the growing needs of the ballooning elderly… You can see the private doctors’ carpark is full of new big Teslas, and bulky SUVs from Mercedes to Porsches. It compares to the second-hand cars and bikes parked outside the public healthcare centres… The public system has been

What is the Definition of a Terrorist State?

The above is an important question to agree upon when we impose sanctions on a country that is supporting terrorists that are killing people with terrorist acts or when they are invading another sovereign state. The first approach to this question is that there is not one country in the world where the majority of the population believes that terrorist attacks are necessary to defend their own country. Ordinary people can be fed any amount of false information to

Death Toll from Climate Change for Dummies

Many people in Finland and elsewhere claim that Climate Change is costing too much. In Finland, they claim that we have already done more than others to reduce greenhouse emissions and that doing more would put us at an economic disadvantage with the rest of the world. Their calculations are not carefully written down in any scientific paper but appear as subjective opinions sometimes referring to the high cost of food and petrol and at other times they talk

A Bright Finnish Politician Replaced by Groping Dullards

Finland has lost one of its best Prime Ministers of the last six decades. She did a good job of representing the people, she put Finland on the European and US map, played a good game with our President, who also flourished with her, and she did good work to manage both Covid and our response to Putin’s madness – we joined NATO. She spoke well and clearly and read reports, unlike former US President. Her political career was

Why Finland Should Fight Climate Change

This is a longish article on an important topic about why Finland and other Nordic countries should remain at the forefront of green technologies. The USA and the big countries in Europe understand that this sector will be one of the biggest drivers of economic performance and we must be on that e-bus before it leaves the depot! This article attempts to simplify the content of this topic to present a good overview of what is happening in Europe

Opening a Bank Account is in Middle Ages

It is terrible that ordinary people are made to feel like you are a terrorist or criminal when you try to open an account or make a large payment! It is the same when you enter an airport and go through what they call “security”. Ordinary people should not be subjected to this unnecessary harassment for the following reasons: Hardened or determined terrorists and criminals have many other solutions that can avoid these so-called “security checks”. There are many

The True Finns Take off Their Masks

President Niinistö hit the nail on the head when he spoke of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine by saying: “Putin’s mask comes off, showing “cold face of war” Now the same can be said of the True Finns (c. 20% of votes) who are currently engaged in building a coalition government with the Conservatives (c. 20% of votes) and another two minority parties the Christian Democrats and the Swedish Folks’ Party (both c. 5 % of votes). The True

Big Banks Getting Bigger is Not Good for US

US does not only mean the United States, but also means us taxpayers around the world, and this headline has a true meaning because it is true for both of US! JP Morgan just got to buy Republic First Bank at the request of the American government that wanted to have the cheapest way of saving the bank that was effectively bankrupt. JP Morgan has a massive balance sheet USD 3.7 trillion. If you consider that the US government

“True Finns” Try to Limit Public Broadcaster’s Independence

We have seen it happen in Turkey, Hungary, China, and Russia, and now we have the dangerous smoke signals appearing on the horizon here in Finland. We have always been proud about our well-developed education system where we have good teachers and attentive students learning everything from mathematics to languages. We have always believed that the written word and culture in the broadest sense are the paths to democracy that is based on equality, knowledge and transparency. We are

War Hero, President Zelensky, in Finland today

Helsinki 3.5.2023 – Finns received a big surprise when President Zelensky made a lightening trip to Helsinki to meet our President and other senior officials and members of the military. His visit is in sharp contrast to Putin who hides in his bunker, only venturing out on moonless nights when the streets are empty, surrounded by the few who are complicit in war his war crimes. We welcome President Zelensky, who we recognize as a brave and honorable leader

You may not be saved by Noah’s Ark

What do we really want from politics and politicians? Most of us think about having a reasonable cost of living that we can have from our jobs, and later from our pensions? Money should be sufficient for the basics, a warm safe home for us and our family, sufficient food, professional healthcare, excellent education opportunities, and later honestly reliable care of the elderly. Money should also be available for holidays and hobbies. We know that all of these matters

The New Finnish Government = Scrambled Egg

You can be quite sure that the next government in Finland will be very different from the last government, That is if the four parties involved in the talks to form a coalition can agree on anything, and keep to their “solemn” promises. The Conservatives, the True Finns, the Swedish Folk Party, and the Christian Democrats all have very different agendas. The Conservatives, who got 20% of the vote, are sponsored by business, and business expects their pound of

Are Central Banks Getting nervous about Themselves?

It was an ironic event to hear one senior central banker from the Bank of Finland announce this week that she was worried about how high interest rates may cause homeowners with large housing loans to face difficulties! The reason for this announcement just shows you that the central bank has no idea what it’s doing or that is simply negligent. Do central bankers have no idea what they’re doing? The only reason why interest rates have gone up

This Week in Finnish Politics – Female Power Plays…

Prime Minister Sara Marin has been one of the best Prime Ministers of the last few decades, helped along by two other ministers, who also did a better job than most of their predecessors. You can probably now hear an outcry from the wealthy, better-off middle-class men and women in their grey suits, who have never really liked this younger politician who can hold her own with older established European politicians, while obviously able to manage a family and

Putin Will Be Remembered as a War Criminal

Whatever happens in Ukraine in the coming weeks, we will remember that Putin is a war criminal who happened to be a Russian leader. We will remember him for war crimes of murder, rape, and wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages.  We will remember that he has encouraged his soldiers to kill, wound, and rape men, women, and children.  He is also guilty of removing Ukrainian children to Russia – a very strange act of cruelty. Putin has

This Week in Finnish Politics – Elections for Austerity!

We had our election, and the biggest surprise is that none of them got a clear mandate, even though the right-wing boys and girls have been trying to tell everybody that they have a mandate for change! The three largest parties emerged from the election with almost equal 20% shares. The rest of the bunch were far behind. None of the parties secured a mandate – and even the two largest right-wing parties togthrtr  did not secure any majority.

Fortum Bosses Rightly Denied a Fortune

Readers will recall that Fortum, the biggest energy company in Finland, made a series of disastrous decisions to invest in Russian fossil fuels after Crimea was invaded. They made this investment by buying a majority stake in Uniper, a German company that was many times larger than them. The losses were terrible but the then Chairman and the CEO jumped ship before the proverbial stuff hit the fan. This financial disaster did not involve any clawback of their very

A Flash of Inspiration about What is Not Needed 

Your correspondent has many friends and up until now, I have thought that they are very different without any common factors linking them together. But there was a moment of thought while sitting on an uncomfortable hotel sofa in Eltville that changed my preconceived ideas about them. There is a common thread and that is not surprising when that flash of inspiration popped into my head. Friend one He is from Slovenia and she, his wife, is Japanese. They

Privately Funded Hospitals… a Greedy Fool’s Paradise

Seven years ago, your correspondent published this article on FinnishNews. Now, seven years later, guess what – this “wonderful” childrens’ hospital does not have the cash to care for seriously ill children, and operations and complex treatment are being delayed or outsourced at home and abroad! Your correspondent was not a prophet then, but a hardheaded financial expert who understands that Ms. Berner, the main driver for this project, and a right-wing conservative neo-liberal minister at the time, wanted

Finnfund sells Lake Turkana Wind Power to BlackRock

Finnfund, a Finnish development financier and impact investor, has entered into an agreement to sell its shares in Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited (LTWP) in Kenya, owning and operating the largest wind farm in Africa. Finnfund has been a shareholder in the company ever since the construction of the wind farm began in 2014. The shares will be acquired by Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), a public-private finance vehicle managed by BlackRock Alternatives. The agreement has been signed, and closing

Finnish Politics – Watch Out What You Wish For!

It is election time in Finland with probably one of the most divisive elections of all times. During TV debates, a few party leaders are at each other’s throats with shouting matches. But let’s be clear – Finland is a great place to live – it is clean and safe, and most things work well. Education and public healthcare free and low-cost are fine most of the time and improvements re always coming along. If we had no Covid

Central Bank Monkey Business

The best classical quote this week before the Credit Suisse crash, came again from the president of Finland’s Central bank who is not known for being very sharp. He spoke to the media with the following statement translated roughly from Finnish: “European banks withstand attacks – no bodies have been seen…” Of course there are no bodies because central banks and governments are providing almost unconditional support for banks if and when the regulators discover that any bank is

What do Central Bankers & Brylcreem have in Common?

Your correspondent has a long history of following and writing about economic and financial matters as a financial advisor to governments, banks and companies while living and working in dozens of countries – and he is still working hard at understanding better what cannot normally be forecasted accurately. It is a fact of life that economists are just not able to forecast share prices, currency movements, the prices of houses, raw materials, or food very accurately because there are

Biggest Newspaper Monopolises the Market in Finland

The main national newspaper here, called Helsingin Sanomat or HS for short, dominates information with unsatisfactory results that flow over and weaken our economy. It has a virtual monopoly on national news – political, social, and cultural. The owners and the journalists have enjoyed working for decades on a newspaper that has no real competition. There was one once – an extreme right-wing rag that was read avidly by like-minded people who had money or behaved like they did.

Finnish Taxation is Relatively Reasonable

We have an election coming so right-wing politicians, with a little help from their media friends at the main newspapers, are trying hard to tell Finns that taxation here is too high. They do that by comparing income taxes from the chosen “peer” countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany. Your correspondent has lived and worked in 6 countries, in addition to travelling for work and pleasure extensively in all the Nordic countries, Germany, France. Italy and Spain. The

German Undermines NATO, but Profits from Weapon Sales

You would think that Germany would be the “Number One” in supporting NATO, but the opposite is true: They pay less than most other countries as a percentage of GDP. Their politicians procrastinate about giving urgently needed weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Private manufacturers get to maximise their sales of weapons to the world as “Germany First”.  Germans want to have a financial profits upfront from selling arms, at our expense, and yet be the last to fund our

A Teatime Story from Hainan, China

Two couples happened to meet in a crowded posh tearoom (in Chinese this is called a “chaguan” and written 茶馆). The tearoom is to be found in one of the best hotels on the island of Hainan called Shangri-La Hotel Sanya. It is a luxurious hotel favored by wealthy travelers from China and Russia. It is a grand hotel, with big rooms and finely constructed details rich in marble, silk and fine wood. The Chinese like it because Sanya

Powering Green Transition with Cellular Agriculture

The global demand for protein is expected to double by 2050. Instead of increasing production of conventional protein sources, we need to find ways to efficiently produce sustainable alternatives for proteins.Egg whites without chickens, chocolate without cocoa beans, animal protein and fats without meat production? These are concrete examples of cellular agriculture, which Business Finland is investing heavily in developing in a new €5 million research project. The CERAFIM project aims to achieve sustainable food production through biotechnology in

One Year Later… Russia is Back to the 1700s…

Here is an interesting story about the madman called Putin, the self-proclaimed genius of Russia who now thinks he is Peter the Great! This small man who started life as a low level Russian spy in Germany now dreams that he is some kind of hero saving Russia and Ukraine from dominance by the West. Most Russians can only dream about what we have in the West, but luckily they have Czar Putin who gives them death, poverty and

(Un-) True Finns and their Cruel Bigotry

When any political party starts to talk about limiting immigration or keeping foreigners away from “our children”, you should see red flags. When political parties start to talk about these people as second-class citizens who are not welcome, you must get really worried about racism here. Such talk is misleading and based on bigotry of the worse kind: You have seen what Hitler did to Jews during WW2 – some 6 000 000 were murdered in concentration camps. Look at Russia

Finns Know That Some Russian Leaders Cannot be Trusted

Finns have always had a clear relationship with Russians. Ordinary Russians are treated by us with normal respect because they are mostly good people. It is not their fault that some of Russia’s leaders use violence and fraudulent means to steal from them. It has always been like that with the police and militia just take after their bosses. It is all a big pyramid swindle from the top down, and this has been going on for too long. Let’s

Putin Needs to Understand that He Has Lost Too Much

Only a fool would want to destroy his neighbour’s house just to have a bit more land. Russia is full of empty land and rich in minerals, and other raw materials – there is no need for more land, especially when large areas are now ruined by bombs and missiles from Russia. Russia is a country with a deep cultural heritage of world class standards that some brain-dead fool wants to waste on weapons and crimes. The little man

Who Needs the Olympics When We Have Noora?

Last night Finland’s fastest Ultra Runner Noora Honkala ran the Sparta 12-hour Endurance Race. She completed the distance that ended today, Sunday 19.2.2023 at 05:00 a.m. with a new Nordic and Finnish record!She improved on her previous women’s 12-hour Nordic record n her own name by completing 146.356 kilometres. That is a great result for somebody who self-trains with her husband in the Greek mountains where they now live and train. With a fast initial pace, Noora was attacking

Even Great CEOs Seldom Have Enough Time…

It is common sense to believe that the CEO of any large company must concentrate all of his waking days on his job. Most of them are paid huge sums of money to ensure that the company operates efficiently and profitably for shareholders. He also must ensure that other stakeholders, be they business partners, employees and or consumers, etc, are satisfied with the products and services of the company. Is it acceptable that such a CEO can join the board

Greenwashing is Too Nice a Word for Fossil Fuel Companies

The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies are producing massive profits because Putin has invaded Ukraine. All of the biggest ones, like ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, etc., are advertising their Green Credentials by loudly claiming that these profits will be re-invested in renewables or that profits are necessary for making new investments in renewables. Here are claims made on the first page of their websites: ExxonMobil – “Climate solutions – ExxonMobil is committed to helping transform our energy systems and

Are Germans Military Cowards or Inadvertent Fools?

The above can be and should be handled as a serious question. It comes to mind when looking at several matters that are now clearly observable: Germany, the largest and most powerful country in Europe, has maintained a soft approach to Russia by developing a massive trade in Russian fossil fuels in return for exporting a huge volume of investment goods and vehicles to Russia. It was probably a relatively innocent action because Germany has always been Europe’s largest

Finland’s Missing Bank Competition…

Finnish banks are making record profits and the reason is so obvious – they are running a cartel for all to see in bright daylight, and do not care what others think because the decision makers are in their pockets. If you call it anything else, then you are in Trumpian self-denial! The Muller Report on Trump’s activities was tame but thoughtful, because even though Muller believed that he really could not indict a sitting President, he did write

Cardboard Packages = Fossil Fuels

Yesterday 200 grams of coffee arrived at a Post Office Box for collection by your correspondent’s wife. The plastic envelope was wrapped in a cardboard box three times its size with paper and tape stuck on all sides. Can you imagine the volumes of cardboard being used by Amazon, IKEA, Zalando, Verkkokauappa.com, and the hundreds of others with their wrappings and boxes? You can imagine piles towering past the moon… …it is the same with the construction industry, the

Killing Your Children Slowly…

It is quite probable that most readers would accuse your correspondent of exaggerating, but he  lives in an apartment where a huge MacDonald’s “M” logo flashes bright yellow and gaudy red  outside his window. The sign is on day and night, like a lighthouse guiding two groups to short-lived instant gratification with hamburgers and chips all served up from a slick and greasy kitchen. One of the two groups are the flocks of black cravens who attack the waste-bins

Watch Out for the Wounded Bear

Can you imagine why any country’s leader of a European country would send over 200 000 of his young men to their deaths or to be injured badly just because he thinks that he is some modern-day czar! Can you imagine why such a leader is spending 10% to 15% of GDP on a war with a peaceful neighbor? Can you even believe that such a fool has even asked his former cook to command an army made up of

Putin is the New Nazi Now

It is a confusing for us Europeans to see that Germany is not delivering tanks to Ukraine. There are no good reasons to hold back to send the necessary equipment. Surely Germany has not become a country of pacifists! Even though Germany has seen the biggest benefits from receiving cheap fossil fuels from Russia, a country that produces many lethal weapons cannot hide behind an excuse of pacifism when war rages next door? Nor can Germany be unwilling to sell

Citibank Hits Bottom Again!

When a former Finnish banker gets to join a big American bank’s board we get the impression from the Finnish media that we should be jumping for joy here in Finland. This was how this was reported in one of today’s business newspapers about the appointment of a former CEO Mr. von Koskull of Nordea Bank, a local Nordic bank, to this elevated position. The headline read, “The former CEO of Nordea Bank, Mr. Casper von Koskull  was appointed

Trouble does not come in threes…

Most readers will understand the following three sayings, which should most certainly be understood to teach us an important lesson: “Bad news come in threes”, “When it rains it pours”, “Trouble never comes alone…” They are all related to what we feel often happens when small things go wrong at home. It is usually followed by another problem, and then another piece of bad news… The above sayings do not give justice to what has really been happening these

Wanted Person:

This Russian man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, is wanted for the following war crimes in Ukraine, a sovereign state where his has ordered a brutal invasion by his armies: Bombing schools, hospitals, shopping centres, railways stations and bunkers where civilians (non-military men women and children) are present. Allowing his male soldiers to rape children, women, and men – yes this list is correct. Allowing his soldiers to kill and torture unarmed civilians. Allow the indiscriminate use of weapons of mass

The Euro Is an Interesting Deal…

Twenty years ago we received the Euro coins and notes as our new European currency. We were told that it will be good for us because each of the countries in the Euro area can trade together without having to worry about the currency risk.  There are two points worth noting about trade. When you look at the trade figures since 2002 you can see that trade has increased nicely even though they were growing before the Euro was

A Letter from Bloom to Finland

In the far Northeast corner of Europe, a vast land covered by trees, lakes and swamps rests peacefully. Caught between Scandinavia and the East European Plain, this country finds itself somewhat isolated. Its language is nothing like its border-sharing neighbours and its population is small, but homogenic. Historic superpowers formerly fought for this land and left its population reduced to suppressed peasantry. But just over 103 years ago, it finally claimed its independence – the country we today officially

Cars and dogs

As it is common nowadays, the idea for this article came after a discussion on Twitter. I was alerted to the book ‘The Psychology of the Car,’ in particular to the fifth chapter “Car Semiotics: The Evolutionary Social Psychology of Attraction.” In this chapter, the author, Stefan Gossling, discusses many aspects of human behavior in relation to cars. For example, he cites another author who builds on Freud’s observations and argues that the process of driving in a car

Should We Get Rid of Mathias Cormann?

The newly appointed head of the OECD is a former Australian Finance Minister called Mathias Cormann. He has stated that, “the EU think twice before introducing unilateral tariffs to punish countries that take a different approach to global warming.” FT 23.3.2021. He openly states that he opposes the EU’s new proposed for a Carbon Tax on imports coming from countries that have not signed up to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change or are not committed to net-zero emissions.

“Costly Consequences of Harmful Immigration”

The title “Costly Consequences of Harmful Immigration” is borrowed from the English language manifesto of the True Finns, Recent polls put them as the most important party in Finland, so it is important to see what they are offering. Their English language manifesto about immigration is set out here for our readers to consider. Their text is marked by bold letters and are sequential. The text in italics after each bold paragraph is a brief commentary on their claims from

Commissioned research and researchers’ integrity

A few days ago, a report “Abuse of Power: Coordinated Online Harassment of Finnish Government Ministers” was published by NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence. It confirmed what many of us active in social media were suspecting was happening. A lot of ‘criticism’ directed at the Finnish government mainly run by women “were abusive and gendered, sexist, and misogynistic.” The report has received a lot of attention in Finland, both in traditional and in social media. Those who ‘agreed’

Private Fund Managers Merge, But Not Big Pension Funds

One large financial group here in Finland decided enough is enough, and decided to sell their fund management company to one of the smaller Finnish banks. The financial group, Taaleri, had not seen that this activity was sufficiently profitable even though they charged normal fees. They thus decided it was time to focus on more profitable lines of business like their Green Investment Funds. Aktia Bank, the buyer, along with other financial analysts, stated that combining two fund management

It’s Time to Cut Public Support for Banks

Banks are busy paying out dividends and buying their own shares back from the market even when the regulators are asking them to limit these activities as the inevitable Corona-related credit losses begin to appear. Many banks are ignoring this request, saying that their investors expect to receive dividends, and that such requests are an interference by government in the markets. Furthermore, banks claim that they have adequate reserves to match any future losses. This claim must be questioned.

Finland Is Looking for Foreign Expert Workers

The Finnish government wants to attract highly educated families to migrate to Finland and have  just announced a whole series of measures to attract foreigners with the right skills. Here is a link if you are interested to explore the possibilities with top companies in a really nice country – and you can always contact me here at FinnishNews if you have more specific questions! https://jobs.workinfinland.fi I have included here a note on my own history that started in

Regulation Does Not Make Banks Safe!

Banks are supposed to be regulated but it seems that the job has become next to impossible or extremely challenging to perform properly, even when investigative journalists have already collected and published damming information. Recent examples in Europe during the last few weeks and months point to a clear failure of competence in major financial centres. One can only imagine what happens in smaller financial centres where human resources are more limited and possibly less experienced in matters linked

Don’t Bank on It!

Finland is one of those countries that has a few big banks that dominate the retail market with a 60% to 70% market share, depending who is counting.  Competition is theoretically possible but not desirable; meaning that it is not desirable from the bank’s point of view! Consumers gave up desiring competition long ago when they realised it was wishful thinking. Changing from open bank to another  bank is fraught with time-consuming work: You have to renegotiate your housing loan.

“There is Nothing New Under the Sun” Ecclesiastes

One of my good Russian friends has just written the following short column, which just shows us that there is indeed nothing new under the sun… and that ordinary Russians are also at a loss about what to do next!  Self-isolation and reading gave me some dark historical analogies. It’s time to move on to physical training and then to lunch with pasta and buckwheat. In 1346, the army of the Crimean Tatars besieged the Genoese fortress of Kaffa

Modern-Day Hell – Dyslexia, Smart Phones & Social Media

I originally hesitated to write this column where I wanted to write something to help young people to understand better what is worth doing and what is worth avoiding in the first decades of their lives. I feared nobody would read the column because, as parents know, young people are notoriously bad listeners. But, on the other hand, there is always the chance that it will strike gold with at least one reader! So here we go… This column

Finnish Politics – Voting for Honest MPs

It is worth reading MP’s websites, especially just before elections – it should make you think twice about how you cast your vote. “A clash of cultures and massive social problems are an inevitable consequence when large groups of people from underdeveloped regions try to move to Europe,” wrote Mr. Ville Rydman, a young MP and a contender to become Mayor of Helsinki. He continues on his own website: “Finland must be preserved as a society where children can

Swedish “Defiants” Just Don’t Get It!

This afternoon (Saturday 6.3.2021) a large demonstration was organised against the government’s Corona-19 restrictions in Stockholm. As you can see hundreds of people are not using face masks nor are they practicing social distancing. They seem to think that they will not spread Corona-19 nor will they be infected! They also appear to think that the rest of taxpayers should pay for their possible hospitalization because a large percentage of these people will end up being infected. Sweden is

Tokyo Street – Takeaways & Wolt Delivery in LockDown

Customers will be pleased to know that Tokyo Street in the Hietalahti Market Hall will remain open for Takeaways or for Wolt deliveries during the lockdown. You can either order and pay online with their Tokyo Street App for collection at the Hietalahden Market Hall where they will have your food ready and waiting for you. The Tokyo Street Helsinki App is available on Google Play Store and Apple and, alternatively, you can use the Wolt App for home delivery.

An Awful Year is Behind Us…

It has been an awful year since the pandemic struck and today’s numbers compared to one year ago tell a story of neglect and misleading news. If you read the two main Finnish newspapers, (which only Finns can understand), you would think that the present government here has done a terrible job in managing the pandemic. However, the correct view is that Finland has performed exceptionally well, even though the death rate could have been lower if we had

Achtung! Watch Out! Interest Rates & Inflation

The price of everything is going up and this is not a forecast – it is happening now! Our central banks and governments are handing out cash that must be repaid at some time in the future. In particular, the actions of the Central Banks are resulting in large price hikes and they will be evident soon alongside tax increases just when taxpapyers are asked to repay these debts through taxation. And while this is going on bankers are

Vaccination Chart – Danish Needles Shine

You can see in the above chart that the Danes have taken a clear lead in delivering the restricted number of vaccines per hundred of the total population.  It is their stated objective to vaccinate 100 000 people each day, although this is far from what their current daily level of around 15 000 vaccinations each day. Such an objective demand a strong acceleration from their present progress. What appears to be clear is that the Danes started their

Justice Ministers Procrastinate Over Lobby Register

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today,” said Thomas Jeferson, the third American President. Unfortunately our Ministers of Justice seem to enjoy putting off creating a lobby register by commissioning endless reports repeating what everybody already knows.   So far two right-wing ministers have succeeded in stopping the creation of a lobby register for almost 4 years.  Another Report on Lobbying in Finland published in February 2021 It is unbelievable that a new study was commissioned

European Central Bank Loves Fossil Fuels

The European Central Bank is buying plenty of bonds to keep interest rates low. The amount of their purchases are huge… they have used several trillions of Euros of our money to by these bonds without any clear strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Banks and governments are still miles away from adhering to clearly defined regulations foe reducing these greenhouse emissions. Banks and their clients are huge beneficiaries of these bond purchases that keep interest rates near or

At Last – Nature Can Be Part of GDP!

It has been along journey for a brilliant Indian-British economics professor called Partha Dasgupta who at last is telling us that the GDP figures we are watching every day have never taken our environment into consideration.  He was asked by the British government to write a paper which he has now published called “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review”, and what a paper… 600 pages of facts and proposals… The report is a long and carefully written document

Gasum, Fortum & Neste in Finnish Wonderland

There are three Finnish energy companies that have the Finnish government as the main owner, and all are up to their eyeballs in fossil fuels!  “So much for those Super CleanTech Nordics,” you may say!  These companies have been involved in fossil fuels since time immemorial. Back in the old days, many Finnish factories were furiously busy using huge amounts of energy to manufacture paper, pulp from our forests and refine metals like steel and copper that were being

Rams Roasters – One of the Best Coffee Shops

Rams Roasters, the coffee shop on Neitsytpolku 10, provides you with great lunches, delicious bites or just excellent coffee and baked pastries. It is a place to rest and sit down after a long walk around Ullanlinna and Kaivopuisto. It is a relative newcomer to Helsinki, and a welcome addition to be short-listed In FinnishNews in our exclusive list of excellent eateries. Cosmin and Cristina Tatosian established their lovely coffee shop in Helsinki just over a year ago. Unlike many

UK’s 2020 Economic Performance Worse Than 1709

The Financial Times has published the UK’s government’s latest statistics about the disastrous fall in the UK’s output in 2020: “UK economic output fell 9.9 per cent in 2020, the largest drop in 300 years and more than twice the fall during the financial crisis, laying bare the scale of the pandemic’s impact.” (FT 12.02.21) The fall in economic activity is many times worse than Germany and the USA and well below the EU average. The Bank of England

Danes Optimize Wind Power Brilliantly

Vestas has announced the launch of their new massive 15MW off-shore wind turbine, which they claim will produce 80 Gigawatt hours, (GWh).  It is a huge wind turbine that has blades that stretch out over 200 meters across. It is a massive engineering feat that is now a serious competitor in terms of efficiency and size to normal big thermal plants like nuclear or fossil fuel plants.   Vestas states that this turbine “offers excellent partial-load production, resulting in

Wind for Green Transition in Denmark – A Power Solution

Earlier this year, the Danes reached a landmark agreement on the construction of an energy hub in the North Sea. The energy hub will be an artificially constructed island 80 kms from Jutland.  The energy hub will produce green electricity and is one of the Danish government’s flagship projects for the green transition in Europe. Fully implemented it will be able to cover the consumption of 10 million European households. The hub will strengthen the integration of Europe’s power

Are we selling out to China?

With the new investment deal between EU and China, a number of concerns are finally raised regarding our future political democratic system and independents from outside pressure. According to EU, the deal will bring a level playing field for European companies entering the Chinese market and Beijing is signing up to follow ILO regarding labor conditions, but as Chatham House points out, the western world believes that what’s written down on paper also is going to be the practice.

Good Move by Borelli and soon Haavisto

The EU is trying hard to establish a consistent foreign policy and speak with one voice given that it represents 450 million people. It is difficult when Merkel and Macron want to grab the limelight since they represent the 2 most powerful countries measured by population and total GDP. Then there are 25 other countries who are full of political leaders who also see themselves as “Very Important People”. It is therefore no easy task for Charles Michel, President

Finnish Politics This Week… Things Municipal 

Municipal elections are coming and every Tom, Dick and Harry, from Influencers to Bloggers, from Current to Past Politicians are starting to compete for voter attention. Most of them have little idea about what they are planning to do if elected. Helsinki will have a new mayor from one of the elected candidates – the current mayor is off to the delights of the Finnish Olympic Committee. The rush to be the front runner is like a dash to

Sport needs to Wipe Out the Olympic Virus

Any activity involving physical exertion like sport is important for all of us on this planet. We need to do exercise to stay fit and healthy. It is necessary because that is how our bodies have evolved over millions of years. Even though most of us in the West no longer have to hunt and live in caves, we still need that exercise to stay in shape. Too little movement and too many carbohydrates (sugar, flour, fats, etc) cause

Fine Madness With Helsinki’s Public Transport

Public transport is a public good that exists to reduce land usage, (building and maintaining parking spaces and roads are incredibly expensive), to reduce accidents, and to keep our air clean thus making substantial saving for public health costs.  But Helsinki, like Berlin, does not treat public transport as a public good – if you do not have a ticket then you will get fined €80 by a ticket inspector… and that is a lot of cash… Let’s consider

Finns and Europe Focus on Battery Development

The Finnish government has brought together a group of Finnish and major international companies together with universities and research bodies here to create a battery material eco-system to  develop battery technologies.  The consortia have produced a comprehensive national strategy based on the raw materials for batteries found in the rich mineral deposits in Finland. The companies have substantial operations  in battery development from mining and metal production, all the way through to battery production, battery charging and recycling. All

Delivery Companies Cause Lower Food Standards

The recent article about Wolt received some feed-back from a few restaurant owners who. They told FinnishNews that delivery companies have offered them a useful service during the pandemic, but they wanted to speak about a few issues that they felt need to be aired. The delivery companies charge around 30% of the menu cost for delivering the food. The restaurant business is very competitive and profit margins are slim. These two restaurants charge around €12 to €14 for

Finnish Election Manifestos Can Be Disturbing

This coming April, if we are still alive on this planet, Finland will have a municipal election to elect our council members in some 300 large and small municipalities. These are important here because these representatives get to decide on zoning, local schools, care of young and elderly, many social matters, local roads, business support, libraries and other cultural activities. The main political parties take them very seriously because they want to test the water for the next general

Wolt – Shame or Fame?

Your correspondent admires the innovative and hardworking people who create valuable goods and services for consumers. Finland is a tiny market, which means that very few startup companies can succeed to become profitable when revenues cannot cover the costs of their investments and salaries. Finnish companies have the same costs as big countries without the opportunities of bigger national markets and more investors willing to risk the euros. It is really tough for Finnish startups to expand into the

“Make Britain Little Again!”

It would be interesting to hear why the British government is now recommending that small and medium size companies should move their companies to one of the EU member states. Most of us here in the EU thought that Johnson wanted the country to be bigger but now they are openly recommending it get smaller…. According to the BBC, the reason for these brilliant ideas from the boffins in Whitehall is that many smaller companies in the UK have

Two Chairs, a Finnish Central Banker and a US Senator

Your correspondent sometimes falls off his chair when some politician or businessman makes an outrageous statement or is offended when a journalist asks a fair question. Here are two of those chair-falling experiences: Fraudulent elections – Trump managed to keep up the theme without giving a shred of hard evidence of widespread fraud. In fact he could not even show the courts even a crumb of fraud let alone widespread fraud. But falling off the chair was not caused by

Finns Tighten the Screws while Belgium Mis-Manages

The Finnish Government decided to tighten border traffic, the recommendations on testing, and quarantine rules starting this last week of January 2021. The aim is to prevent the re-escalation of the growth of the COVID-19 epidemic and the spread of the COVID-19 variant here. The new virus variant spreads faster with serious consequences. Airports and harbour entry points will see testing of all passengers and if found to be infected then quarantine will be imposed and monitored with sanctions.

A Video that May Cost His Life?

  This video from Aleksei Navalnyi presents a picture of Russia under President Putin that may have serious consequences for the EU, the USA and for many other parts of the world. It is difficult for Europeans to understand why a person would want to return to such a country after producing such a detailed and damming film. when the risks of persecution and even death are self-evident. Most people in Europe have seen plenty of evidence of the

NIB & EIB – Reform Now?

This article follows on from the last article and covers two institutions, the Nordic Investment Bank, (NIB) and the European Investment Bank, (EIB) that operate in all of the Nordic countries (and elsewhere) as financiers. This article proposes a rethink of the mandates of NIB and EIB, two state controlled international financial institutions. Their current mandates, as described below, are in part unnecessary because their clients already have access to long-term finance directly from the financial markets.   Taxpayers

We Need Public Financiers More Than Ever

State-owned and other public financing bodies are important in supporting corporations in research and development, in innovation, and in financing exports to the global markets. This is true for all developed countries. In western countries it is essential to produce high value-added products because low-income countries are more cost-efficient places to produce high volume mass-market products. This requires a healthy, highly-educated workforce and cost efficient, well managed companies that can rely on a well-functioning infrastructure for transport, energy and

Somebody is playing games here…

Here are some new details on the vexing matter of vaccines and the troubling German deal. This afternoon, 13.1.2021, Sebastian Gülde from the German Ministry of Health’s press department has provided some extra information to FinnishNews on Germany’s procurement of vaccines from Biontech. He states simply:  “Thank you very much for your inquiry. Germany secured 30 Million additional doses of Biontech, as of other manufacturers which have been funded by the German government. Preliminary agreements were concluded for this purpose,

Finland Increases Free Compulsory Secondary Education

After many years of debate, this government has at last passed legislation that make secondary education compulsory up to the starting age of 18 years.  This reform has been debated for years but only the present government has had the fortitude and economic understanding to get it done. The social and economic benefits are crystal clear but the present opposition made up of the Conservatives and True Finns have objected to new legislation for reasons that appear to be

Is Germany Jumping the Vaccine Queue?

The EUOBSERVER (13.1.2021) has just run an article about the supply of Covid19 vaccines where it states: “During a hearing in the European Parliament’s environment and public health committee, Sanda Gallina, the EU’s top negotiator on vaccines contracts, said she was “confused” by recent reports of bilateral deals because the EU’s overall strategy forbids member states from negotiating individually.” DG Gallina claims not having seen any bilateral deals to buy vaccines. However, Germany has published on its health ministry website

Finnish Politics – True Finns Remain Close to Trump

The Finnish opposition party, the True Finns, is lead by a rather strange and complex leader who happens to be a well-educated young man with an academic background in Russian and Old Church Slavic language which ended around 2006 after complaints about his racist texts appearing on the internet.  It appears that little has changed over time. He is a prodigious writer and in his texts and public communications he remains critical of immigration, critical of many facets of

Should Commercial Interests Limit YLE?

The Finnish government has submitted a proposal to amend the law relating to the public service broadcaster, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, or “YLE” as we refer to it here.  According to the amendment YLE may only publish textual content that mainly relates to TV and radio programs. This amendment has been demanded by the commercial media lobby that is basically run by Finland’s two largest national media companies. The proposed amendment states that this is a technical change to

All Men Are Equal Before the Law

Your correspondent is a lawyer by education, and he has always understood the meaning of Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that states: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”. It is generally agreed principle that everyone must be treated equally under the law regardless of race, gender, colour, ethnicity, religion, disability, or other characteristics, without privilege, discrimination or bias. When a person is

Fuzzy EU & China Investment Deal 

On December 30th 2020, the EU have just published the following news: “The EU and China have today concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).  This deal follows a call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Commission President von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on behalf of the Presidency of the EU Council, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron.  China has committed to a greater level

Pensions – (Young) People Just Don’t Get It!

Your correspondent has recently been asking young people about what they know about their future pensions. The result of the informal survey has been that young people between the ages of 25 and 60 years (I am a little older) was that 100% have no idea about the possible size of the pension, nor do they understand how much cash is being saved for the pension each month, and how it is invested. They have no idea about the

Finland Ignores Common Plight of Start-Up Owners

Your Editor-in-Chief has decided to write a note on what he see as one of the most important and least recognised groups of working folk. Do you realise that Finland is full of hard-working start-up entrepreneurs who are taking on more risks than most other entrepreneurs? Here are the reasons why: Finland is a tiny market with a small groups of very big companies dominating key sectors of the economy and thousands of really small companies. Both groups are

Inflation myths…

Inflation is a measure of the value of any unit of money. When the price of anything increases, that unit of money is worth less. That is the best definition of inflation, and deflation is the opposite. Deflation is when the price of anything goes down, which means that the unit of money is worth more. When the price of “most things” go up you need more units of money to buy the same amount of “most things”. That

Brexit is for Monkeys, as is Trump

The Chinese had 2016 as the Year of the Monkey. That was the year the Brits voted for Brexit and the Americans voted for Trump.  The saying goes that Great Minds think alike and there is do much truth in that saying! David Cameron, like Theresa May, were not originally in favour of Brexit, even though they harboured strong doubts about some of the EU’s policies. Like Trump, they and now Boris Johnson spent their time on matters that

Finns have World’s First Frozen Chef’s Table

MasterChef competitor Sirly Ylläsjärvi has built the  world’s first ice and snow Chef’s Table kitchen in Ylläs, Finnish Lapland. Together with Lapland Hotels SnowVillage and Miele, Sirly Ylläsjärvi has designed a Chef’s Table from ice and snow. Chef’s table is a show based dinner hosted by a professional chef. It’s private for the customers and it involves learning about cooking and enjoying exceptional atmosphere and drinks. There will be Miele’s integrated stoves and ovens and music and lights will be planned

German Bosses Can Help Nordics & That May Not Be Safe

It is never a good idea to be the shortest guy in the class. Being small is a big disadvantage unless you can attract a strong protector, and strong protectors are always in short supply, and they are seldom the brightest ones in the class.  Shorter guys are often subjected to bullying which is still a favourite pastime of many “large” European politicians.  Even though Finnish schools are pleased to see a major eradication of bullying in schools, bullying

Hackers Need BitCoins but We Do Not!

As has been published earlier in FinnishNews, most IT security risks are focused on preventing hacking, ransomware and data theft by criminals…  … but criminals thrive because they can use bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to receive ransom payments. The money disappears without a trace in a micro-second and with a few clicks of the mouse…  The total value of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies is more than $600 billion and the total cost of cyber crimes is also rising fast. 

We Need Norwegian’s Wings

Finns and Swedes need to have competition in the air otherwise we are stuck with SAS and Finnair, two of the most uncompetitive companies on earth, at least on this Nordic earth! Both companies were set up as national champions and enjoyed years and decades of near monopoly positions at our airports. They have been able to secure the best slots and dictate the highest possible prices, which is fine for the governments and big companies who see travel

Gambling Needs Clear Regulation & Controls

Readers will recall past articles about the dangers of gambling in FinnishNews. The first article described the clear predominance of pensioners and unfortunate rather desperate-looking folks standing in front of the government-owned monopoly’s slot machines. These machines are found in every supermarket owned by Kesko or S-Group, two retail chains that have 84% market share of the retail food business! The chains even have monthly and annual profit targets for these machines. Last year almost €2 billion was used

Finland has a Reformist Government – At last…

The present Finnish government’s Covid policies have been rewarded with low death rates compared to the rest of Europe and the our economic performance has been one of the best with one of the lowest falls in GDP. Sweden, our neighbour, has seen ten times more deaths and a larger fall in economic activity. Even though they have had a better economic performance  for the last 7 decades, the Swedes have now made serious mistakes in Covid management with

Tomato & Cucumber Politics from True Finns

Here is a nice one as they say in Little Britain… The True Finns, the Finnish equivalent to Little Britain, have discovered a new way to satisfy the Xenophobic needs of their ardent supporters. According to the True Finns, (that was their former name – now they call themselves “the Finns”), immigrants are receiving huge amounts of social security support because they are not working. This money, according to the True Finns, could be better spent on care of the

Networks Are Hopelessly Fragile

This week saw the breakdown of Google services and the US government disclosed that Russian hackers had been spying successfully for months on Homeland Security, the Treasury and Commerce Departments. It was also said that the hackers stole and had stolen the world’s second best hacking tools from FireEye, a private company that does hacker testing for the most secure government bodies there!  This was not the first time such hacking tools have been stolen from the Banana Republic

OECD Produced a Balanced Finland Survey

The OECD Economic Surveys are prepared for each member country every one to two years where it summarises each country’s main economic challenges and provides policy recommendations. It was Finland’s turn in December and the report had several key recommendations. Covid’s impact has been hard for all countries and Finland is no exception, but figures to date put Finland near the top of the class in the western countries for lower economic impact and deaths. The Report, however, has set

IMF – big companies raise prices and stifle innovation

This column was published 2 years ago in FinnishNews/Nordic Week. Nothing has happened to reduce Finland’s dependence on large companies since then. Our export intensity has weakened, meaning that the value of exports as a percentage of GDP has fallen. Big companies stifle competition, increase prices for consumers, and reduce innovation according to this IMF study in all countries examined. A study from the IMF has been published about how large companies in 74 countries, including Finland, are increasing

At Last… Healthcare Reform Takes One Big Step!

Finland is small but well developed country with an excellent and high standard of living… and being small means that it can be used as a test bed for seeing what happens when the government makes changes to the public services. One of the biggest policy changes that has been driven by the last 3 governments over the past 12 years has been attempts to reform public health- and social care. Now the present government is making a final

Your genetic code is Clondyke goldmine, for some…

When I was asked to write this column on genetic sequencing of DNA, I thought that sending your DNA for testing with Ancestry Inc., or with 23andMe Inc. was rather innocuous. Surely there was no problem to take a peek at your ancestral heritage? Two years ago my sons gave me Ancestry Inc’s testing kit as a Christmas present and a few week’s later I received an interesting analysis that confirmed what my parents had told me about our

Norwegian Intelligence Service’s Security Challenges

The following is a summary produced in a quarterly report from the Norwegian Intelligence Service’s that sets out their assessment of current security challenges facing Norway, a NATO member. The whole well documented paper can be found here at this link. The threat environment facing Norway at the start of 2020 is the result of structural changes that have been taking place over a period of many years. On the one hand, these changes have offered armed forces increased

Swiss Political Fire over Palm Oil

Finland’s oil giant and stock exchange company (with a big part owned by the government) uses sustainably produced palm oil to manufacture bio-fuel for vehicles and planes. We are meant to feel good about this but any person who has lived and travelled in Malaysia and Indonesia will know well that these palm oil plantations are anything but sustainable no matter how much their owners do their best to make them more “sustainable”… the Swiss too are having the

A stamp of approval, or is it?

The most significant EU-related popular vote in recent years took place on 27 September in Switzerland. Its outcome left no room for doubt, with 62% of the electorate rejecting the “limitation initiative” proposed by the SVP in place of freedom of movement with the European Union (EU).  The “no” vote was therefore a resounding “yes” to continuing the bilateral relationship with the EU. The majority of voters did not want to jeopardise the status quo with their biggest trading

The Rule of Law & COVID in Finland

The Chancellor of Justice supervises the lawfulness of the official acts of the Government, the ministries and the President of the Republic, who appoints the Chancellor and his deputy. The Chancellor endeavours to ensure that the courts of law, other authorities and civil servants, and other persons or bodies assigned to perform public tasks, comply with the law and fulfil their assigned obligations. In the spring of 2020, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice received several complaints criticising

The Last Weeks in Finnish Politics

Huh! There is not much to say except the opposition’s opposition (yes, you read that correctly…) is getting desperate!  On the other hand, the present government is doing a reasonably good job of controlling the virus. It is cold here now with winter starting and infection rates have increased.They are still modest but stronger precautions are being put in place to protect the vulnerable. The popularity of the Social Democrats is holding up – they take their time to

Is Centralised Better?

We all know what a despot is… they run places like Russia, North Korea, Belarus and quite a few other countries. Trump tried his best to control everything in the USA, but voters had a different vision. In any event the 50 states and Washington DC run quite a lot of important matters and that stops crazy presidents from totally trashing democracy… In the Nordic countries we also have a power sharing between the central government and the regions

Blackness… and light…

These are the darkest weeks in Finland just now – or at least in Southern Finland. There is very little sun, no snow, lots of clouds, and the temperature outside is around zero.  The night starts at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and now at 10:53 in the morning the sun appears to try to shine over the horizon, but in a couple of hours it will start to fail again. The nights are so dark and long here

Blackness…

Black Friday should be stopped. It is a consumer frenzy encouraged by Big Media, Big Tech and Retail Giants, that offer nothing but bigger piles of rubbish and heavy use of plastics and fossil fuels. Do we really need bigger televisions, more expensive smart phones for every member of the family and more laptops? Big Media enjoys strongly flowing advertising revenues to fill their half empty pockets. Big Tech has seen huge flows of record-breaking advertising revenues into their

EU Commission Appears to Permit Corrupt Practices

Earlier this year FinnishNews reported in April 2020 that the financial service giant BlackRock had been awarded a contract by the European Commission to carry out a study on integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives into EU banking rules. We pointed out that BlackRock is intimately involved as an investor with the world’s biggest banks and fossil fuel companies and would probably benefit from less regulation rather than more on matters of ESG. The column points out that

Trump Begins to Look Like Dr. Strangelove

When the US president has already told over 20 000 lies during the last 4 years, we should be worried. How can anyone trust this man to keep his word? When a president appoints his own family members to key positions in his administration we call it nepotism and when he encourages staff and foreign leaders to use his hotels to enrich himself then that is generally seen as an abuse of power… When a US president refuses accept

Boris, Climate Change, Lobbyists & Doomsday

We have a better chance to slow climate change if Trump really leaves office and Biden takes up the cause. But we also need to have the EU implementing stronger regulations and policies with all member states and a carbon tax on ALL emissions without convenient exceptions for vehicles, airlines, ships, trucks, and imported products. These last two are slow in coming because the lobby groups are so powerful. It is ridiculous that we cannot save the planet because

The 12 Best Restaurants in Helsinki & Ekenäs for All Tastes

The Virus has impacted the restaurant business hard and FinnishNews has been trying to support them with independent and thorough testing. Only the best dozen have made it through from over 40 different restaurants tested this last year. The selection below represents FinnishNews’ collection of Best Restaurants in Helsinki. Their food is great, the service excellent… what more could you want? Please note that none of the restaurants have paid to be on this listing, and none of them

Fine Dining at La Bottega 13 – Deli & Wine Bar

La Bottega 13 is a restaurant,  deli and wine bar on Tehtaankatu 13 in the middle of Helsinki owned by Mr. Gianluca Poggio, a congenial and expert on Italian food. Your correspondents been here several times, and were it not for the Covid attack we would have been here more often.  The reason is simple – they are producing some of the best Italian meals here in Helsinki and must rank as one of the best fine-dining restaurants here

Helsinki in political turmoil

Helsinki is in political turmoil because everybody wants to be Helsinki Mayor after the present Mayor surprised everybody by announcing that he does not want to continue for a second term…. And since most people in Helsinki are well off, they like eating chicken no matter how tough the chicken meat gets… “Good riddance” thought some of his colleagues in the city because he is known to be autocratic – he is not a team player. You can see

Hopeless Hungary & Desperate Poland Block EU Budget

As stated in earlier articles, readers will know that the Nordic countries do not want to provide grants (money that does not have to be repaid) to Poland and Hungary if they flout the Rule of Law. The EU’s current €1.8 trillion new long-term Budget and the Coronavirus Recovery Package can only be passed when all the member states are supporting it. This means that Poland and Hungary, along with other recipients of the funds will not receive anything

Distance Working Does Not Work Well 

We have all been plunged into distance working because of Covid-19. Working from home has been forced upon us and it appears that the media and many  experts are claiming that this is the best thing since the invention of the printing press – but is it? If distance working is so great then why was it not introduced years ago? The number of people who were doing distance working has always been small and mainly available for people

Media Soap Operas in Washington & London

The famous satirical British magazine, “Private Eye”, has long been a thorn in the side of corrupt or foolish politicians across the globe since 1961. Your correspondent can recall gleeful moments as a young man in London when reading salacious stories about badly behaving other leaders and business men. This week’s events in the UK and in the USA however have brought us to new heights of satire directly from the men at the top.  In the UK the

UK is Copying Best Nordic Solutions

One of the biggest errors made by the normally efficient private sector is their use of the big consulting companies and investment banks for mergers and strategic advice. It is common knowledge that most big mergers seldom bring in the promised cost savings, and there are plenty of horror stories about the fallout from these mergers, and from failed policies.   Even though these are well-documented in academic studies and in business students’ case studies, senior managers and boards

The Rule of Law Stays Strong in the EU

The EU Parliament, with the support of the Nordics, have succeeded to get a working Rule of Law principle enshrined in the new budget proposal. This was originally tried earlier in the week without success and referred to in our earlier column. The newly agreed text sets out a mechanism where the EU can now stop EU funding once the Rule of Law principles have been broken or where it is evident that new government decisions represent a future

Morton Serves Delicious Food in a Container

Morton is a welcome new addition to Helsinki’s restaurant scene. They have  opened a lovely container restaurant in the Hietalahti corner of Helsinki, next to Bulevardi and Ruoholahti, having made their way from near Jyväskylä, in the tiny town of Rautalampi (population 3097 people!), where they opened their first container-styled restaurants several years ago. These containers are a more comfortable upgrade of the American diners… there is more space and much better food! … and Morton has thought long

The Peak of Corruption…

After two exhausting days following the chaotic results of an election run by the mob, there should have been no new surprising shocks to scare us once more, but your correspondent was wrong. The New York Times had written a piece (NYT 5.11.20) on the reaction of the Trump camp when Fox News announced that Arizona was won by Biden. The Trump camp immediately tried to get Fox News to retract this and they went to great lengths to

Religion Is No Island

Religions, next to politics, are touchy subjects that you should never discuss with strangers and even less with colleagues. Religions, like politics, are private affairs that bind small groups and big countries together or tear them apart. Too much killing has been committed in the name of religion and that needs to stop… Some religions are more sensitive to outsiders’ comments than others. There are red lines that should not be crossed by outsiders because doing so can cause

Selling Public Property is for Suckers

There is a Great Truth and a Great Myth about selling public goods like water companies, energy companies, hospitals, motorways, railways, schools and healthcare centres. The Great Truth is that the private sector only buys if they can get it below market value, and the Great Myth is that the public sector always thinks it always sells above its market value. There is actually another Great Truth about the above – bankers, lawyers, and consultants make a lot of

This Equation Always Works!

When you have bad leaders nothing will go right – it will all go bad, and fast! Just look at the Brits who voted for Cameron, May and then Boris the Buffoon… The leadership skills just got worse with each new round, leading to bigger losses. The first PM managed to lose a simple vote on Brexit, the second PM, Ms. May, resigned because she failed to secure a majority from her own party for her Brexit plans, and

EU Grants & The Rule of Law… or Lawlessness

The EU is close to a compromise on linking EU funds to respecting the Rule of Law, and we are all waiting here in the north to see what Parliament and the EU Council can agree on. So far it appears that a watered-down compromise is on the books, and that will not be well received here. Linking the EU grants to the Rule of Law has been strongly opposed by Hungary and Poland, who  have threatened to block

Some Finnish Leaders are Getting Noisy

One of the great puzzles of our time is how busy leaders want to be even busier than before! The current Mayor of Helsinki, a Conservative Party person, has been a minister, a political appointee at the EIB, and a member of Parliament. Like many other politicians he has never held a job outside politics except for a couple of years running the Track & Field Sport Association. He had no special sporting bad ground other than running fast

Going on Holiday to Home Work? 

Finland is a great place to enjoy a holiday. There are almost as many holiday homes as ordinary homes scattered around the country. This has always been the case in such a large country – the sixth largest in Europe measured in square kilometres, just a small population  5.6 million and forest and lakes everywhere. Basically everybody has access to a holiday house either you own one directly, or one of your family members or a friend has one

Why Do We Have to Tolerate Hackers?

One of Finland’s private psychiatric companies has been hacked and patient data has been stolen. The criminals who are responsible, are demanding over €400 000 in bitcoins or they will disclose names and other details about patients – 100 for each day payment is not made. This is just another example of how networks just cannot be trusted. When will governments wake up to the fact that we cannot continue to put sensitive information on to computers and expect

Finnish Government’s Virus Management Calm and Collected

Today we heard from the above three leading experts from the government who are responsible for the national management of the Covid-19 Virus pandemic. They are not politicians, but they are the main civil servants and healthcare specialists who rely on our top scientific and medical experts for the best advice.  They presented an update on the current situation together with announcements on the government’s latest recommendations. Read “recommendations” – we have avoided extended lock-downs and senseless commands from

Printing Money Fast and Furiously

In 1899, Wasa Aktiebanken built a very nice-looking office for itself in Helsinki on Etelä Esplanadi. The building is still there but the bank has been long gone. A few years later, in 1918, during Finland’s civil war, the Whites asked the bank to issue 10 million markka bank notes so that people could buy and sell things locally with “local municipal money”. The Whites had seen that the Germans were doing the same thing with “Notgeld” when official

Central Bankers Create Havoc in Our Economies

One of the most important newspapers ran a story this week that senior officials at America’s Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, are of the opinion that the USA needs new regulations to  “stop firms and households” from taking on “excessive leverage”, meaning too much debt. They conclude that they need to be able to restrict excessive risk-taking like today when interest rates are kept so low for so long. This is the worst type of double-talk imaginable from a

This Week in Nordic Politics – Sick…

In Sweden the polls tell us that 20% of voters support the right-wing Sweden Democrats, down from 24% earlier in the year. Their sister political party the True Finns are also at around 20%. Both parties represent the strange belief that Swedish and Finnish values can only exist if we are all blond and blue-eyed. Both parties keep on repeating the same mantra that immigrants are often dangerous criminals, sexual predators and just here to take advantage of our

Catholics Squander Money on Speculation & Luxuries

Anybody rational person who visits or reads about the Vatican City will see immediately that this religious sect behaves like any other religious sect and abuses its position as a Christian organisation. But miracles happen, in the good and bad sense. In the good sense Trump recovered miraculously from Covid-19, while the bad miracle is that most people claiming to be catholics are wilfully blind to their organisation’s crimes and misdemeanours. In her interesting and acclaimed book called “Wilful

Finnish banks still benefit unilaterally from high loan margins

Some 4 years ago Finnish banks somehow managed to increase their lending margins by forcing housing loan customers to pay at least the margin when Euribor interest rates fall below zero. The practice has been accepted by the banking authorities or at least they have not forbidden this unhealthy practice. Banks then stopped housing loan customers from enjoying negative interest rates even though banks have that advantage when they fund their loan portfolios with negative interest rates from say

You Don’t Spread Covid-19 if You Have It

Trump is wrong to play down the risks of Covid-19. It is a dangerous virus that kills people and there are no signs that an effective mass vaccination program  will be here any time soon. Over 215 000 Americans have died, that is 65 out of each 100 000 people. Finland has only 5 deaths out to each 100 000 of the population, and we do not have the US’s unlimited resources and political power. Trump’s flagrant denial to

Not so Secret Cyber Spies Spy on Us!

Forty years ago, a group of Harvard professors, researchers and practitioners came together to tackle the greatest threat of the Cold War: the fear of a nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States. Today, there are trying to create a wider approach to tackle a new threat: the risk of conflict in cyberspace. How do you protect a nation’s most critical infrastructure from cyber attack; how to organize, train, and equip a military force to prevail

Finance Ministry: “Not that bad…”

The Finance Ministry Trio, Mikko Spolander, Jukka Railavo, and Marja Paavonen (photoed above) came out today with their regular update of the Finnish economy, and it was not that gruelling as expected… Yes, the timing of the recovery will be uncertain because we need to kill off the virus first, but the economic damage is not as great as they expected earlier this year. The economy will fall by 6% in 2020, and 2021 should see GDP growing by

Peaceful Climate Change Protesters should Honoured not Sprayed

Freedom of speech – when ordinary folk participate in a peaceful sit-downs for important and good causes that are important to all of us, then they should be respected not sprayed with poisonous liquids by bullies in blue. But in Helsinki, this last weekend, this was not the case. Peaceful protesters – not thugs, not neo-nazis, not extremists, just ordinary students, workers and pensioners – sat in the middle of a quite road in a peaceful protest organised by

A real meeting, at last…

Finns have been careful with the virus. We use masks because it is sensible, and not because we are told to use them. We pay our taxes, use public transport, enjoy great low-cost healthcare and have a world class totally free education system. We keep social distancing and do not carry guns. Children go to safe schools, and people can walk anywhere in Helsinki round without being scared or nervous. We live right next to Russia where life is

“Onward Christian Soldiers, Going as to War”

The headline is from a Christian hymn that your correspondent used to sing at his school in London during the 1950’s. It was always sung with gusto and a loud voice because young boys felt like strong and victorious soldiers fighting successfully for a good cause. Naturally, our parents had just won the war against the evil German Empire, and now was the time to rebuild the economy and get on with their lives without bombs and death. But

Another Shocker from Automatic GPS Navigation

You probably read the story about the Tesla driver who was fast asleep while his car was hurtling along the road in Canada at 150 km/hour. The Mounted Policeman who chased the car on his horse said that the front seats were fully reclined with the driver and his passenger snoring peacefully. So self-driving cars are indeed a boon for the world. Can you imagine how many people would have died if the driver of an ordinary car had

Pension waste and Willful Blindness

In an earlier paper covered in FinnishNews, there was a presentation of the high cost of running three different pension companies in Finland that have high operating costs relative to similar funds in Singapore and Norway – both small successful countries… Finland’s pension system covers every working person in Finland and the organisation of the system is of great consequences for the whole population. There is no point in complaining about low pensions when you are retired – you

737 Max 8 Jets Crashed because Robots Took Over!

So we have this great belief in digital solutions like AI, automated systems for cars, power networks that are controlled by computers, the internet, digital face recognition, etc, etc… the list is so long and so pervasive that there is almost nothing that we do that does not involve a computer watching and feeding data about that action to some cloud centre where the data is processed for you-will-never know… But stop… Pilots for Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines

The Coronavirus in Switzerland

The following article was written and published in June in the Swiss Revue By Marc Lettau Editor in chief. It sets out the Virus situation in Switzerland. It is interesting to compare the Swiss situation with that of the Nordic countries as of today 14.9.2020: Some 2,000 people in Switzerland have died of COVID-19 – an undeniably heavy price. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs and futures. Hundreds of thousands will feel the effects of the pandemic on society and the economy

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Don’t be fooled about the Nordics. We are not a lot of lazy sleepy socialists, but a community of four countries and some 25 million hard-working people who innovate and enjoy creature comforts. The Swedes have just announced a new innovation for beds with a mattress that can be adjusted for hardness or softness for a good night’s sleep. A normal mattress, with fixed firmness, cannot satisfy individual needs. The company “YouBed” is launching a line of beds  for

Little Britain thinks it is Great Britain…

Honesty has little place in today’s politics and nothing to do with the tabloids that pump out rubbish – half naked women, murders, diets, and gossip about the actors and football players. It is beyond belief that the UK government can pull out of an agreement it only made 12 months ago with the EU over how it will handle Brexit. Their failure to handle the Civid-19 virus, the failure of the NHS to track and stamp its spread

This week in Finnish Politcs

The Center Party got their new leader as predicted and Ms. Saarikko, the obvious winner, is immediately being accused of being divisive because she challenged the then current leader who had only been in the driving seat for one year! During that time the Center Party has seen its disastrous unpopularity remain at their lowest levels for decades! It was time for change… In any event, there can be little doubt that they will be in serious trouble because

Center Party Leaders Hit Out at Themselves

The Finnish political party, the Center Party, is run by people most of whom live in the countryside and who generally have big farmers, and large tracks of forest. Their followers are their wives and husbands, and coop workers who strive to earn a living selling everything from pigs to financial services. Then generally do not change their politics because that would mean summary extradition and deportation to the nearest city slums.  Center Party folk are by definition old

Upbeat Minister- Time to Stop Self-Flagellation

The Finnish Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Lintilä, gave a good overview of the state of the nation today. Even though the rest of the world does not have a clue what will happen next, it is useful that politicians try to change the course of away from this self flagellation! Although “Will it or will it not” is the major question that everybody is asking Shakespeare had a better line to which an appropriate ending may be added: “To

Finns love a good forest fire…

The Finnish government and commercial forest owners have started to arrange controlled burning of forests to improve regeneration and forest diversity. Controlled burning is nothing new here – it has been going on for years but new scientific studies have revealed that controlled burning and careful regeneration are important ways to care properly for forests. Climate change is also causing more wild fires in forests because draught and hotter weather with more storms makes the forests more likely to

Is the Bank of Finland Subsidizing the Banks?

Mr. Tuomas Välimäki, a board member of the central bank here in Finland, has recently published an article published on the bank’s website, where he set out the rationale of the two most important monetary policies currently being implemented by the European Central Bank through national central banks like the Bank of Finland. Mr. Välimäki is the board member responsible for implementing monetary policy at the central bank. Here is an extract from his article of 25.8.2020: “At present,

Former Swedish PM says Trump can Push USA to Dictatorship!

The main Swedish newspapers are running a story about recent comments from Fredrik Reinfeldt, a former right-wing PM of Sweden. He says in his new book that another 4 years of Trump would drive the USA towards a dictatorship. On the other hand one must wonder why he thinks that another 4 years will make such a big difference… It is quite something to hear such comments from a former close ally of the USA under Obama and Bush. If he sees

Finance Ministry’s Tough Employment Strategy

The Finnish economy recovered at a slower rate than the rest of Europe after the financial crisis. Unemployment remained high and he employment rate remained well below other Nordic countries at around 72%. Inflexible labour market structures, and a poorly performing export sector all contributed to this relatively weaker performance. Over the last 12 years, three past governments were distracted by a failed major healthcare reform and by a lack of determination and of careful planning to make the

Former Finnish President, Ms. Halonen, Speaks about Women Power!

One of the most interesting and refreshing former presidents here has recently spoken up again about the importance in having female leaders in positions of power. Naturally a small number of the male species from right-wing journalists, to politicians and academics mocked her because they dislike being second bested by a women, especially one who was a former leader of the Social Democrats and a very popular President! Her interview was in Finnish but here is a translation off

Spruce Roots, Smoke Sauna and Supercell

One of the old traditions here in Finland is the Smoke Sauna. This is normally a log cabin made from thick logs with a heavy brick or metal hearth above which there is a pile of heavy stones without any chimney.  Wood is burnt in the hearth and the flames rise up through the stones and fill the sauna with black smoke. The heavy smoke and controlled burn stops the walls and ceiling catching fire, and after two lots

A Strong Firm President – Just What the Doctor Ordered

According to almost all the national polls here, over several years, support for the current Finnish President is strong  – very strong.  He is seen as a stabilising factor in politics, a voice of reason and for calm diplomacy at home and abroad.  He does not hesitate to talk with other leaders when necessary and he is listened to. Last week Finland’s President, Mr. Sauli Niinistö, called the Russian President, Mr. Putin, and proposed that the Russian opposition leader,

American and Finnish Postal Hell

Some 5 years ago the Finnish Prime Minister appointed a fellow entrepreneur as Transport Minister, and she took the job with a great fanfare that she will improve productivity of the Post Office and the Finnish Railways by waving her magic privatization wand. She planned the privatization of the post office and the railways – a consultants wet dream where Copy Past recommandations could be used with great haste and gusto now that the UK had just finished doing

Belarus and America Leaders Have Much in Common

When looking at the world’s political picture you can see lots of similarities that we have never seen before… Belarus and Trump are both pleased to have a little help from Russia to stay in power… Both men see that they are the “Right Man for President”… Both men also fix the elections to ensure they get and stay elected, by creating lots of fraudulent supporting votes or by not counting lots of fraudulent non-supporting votes. Trump is particularly

Stupid Politics – “My Country First”

When Trump first trumpeted “Let’s Make America Great Again” most foreigners smiled or poked fun at him because it is so juvenile to make that sought of claim. But when he backed that up with sanctions against China, imposed new taxes on certain imports and other trade-disrupting measures that weakened foreign competition or improved US competitiveness, then the smiling stopped… But at no time during the time he has held office has he really advanced the USA. He has

French Government Removes Badly Behaved US Bank

Readers will recall a recent article here in FinnishNews where it was proposed that governments and other public bodies should not continue to deal with banks, no matter how big, that committed serious misdemeanours. The article described how Goldman Sachs, an American bank, was involved in a major case of fraud with the Malaysian government. They were the lead manager for a huge bond issue the proceeds of which ended up in the pockets of certain Malaysian politicians and

The Berner Effect… Center Party Burnt to a Cinder…

SDP = Social Democrats, Kesk = Center Party, Kok = Conservatives, Vihr = Greens, Ps = True Finns, Vas = Left, Rkp = Swedish Folk, Kd = Christian Democrats, Muut = the rest… Few Finns can ever forget how terrible a few ministers can be for the collapse of the fortune of a political party… The Center Party is currently facing its worst measurement in the polls for decades… their support has been burnt to a cinder, and the

Ticks and public healthcare…

One of the new nasty things about summers in Finland are the ticks that have started to infest the taller grasses. They are tiny creatures that hang on to high grass and wait for the leg of an animal or a human to latch on to… They then sink their tiny sharp teeth into your skin and start to suck up the blood. Their appetite is voracious and their body swells and swells to the size of an apple

Natural Resources Are Crucial for Humans

At least 40% of the world’s economy and 80% of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. Healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: Ecosystem services, such as Protection of water resources Soils formation and protection Nutrient storage and recycling Pollution breakdown and absorption Contribution to

Cynical about Sweden? “Influencers” are not Role Models

The leading newspaper in Sweden (SvD 31.7.2020 – Raking in 100 millions on social media), has just published a full page article about young men and women called “influencers”, and about how much money they are making by promoting H&M and many other products from big companies. This self-promotion ranks at the very bottom of what is important in society and sustainability. The fact that a serious newspaper gives so much space to this frivolous activity tells you something about

I am someone’s daughter, too…

Watch this video and understand better how far the USA has gone in the wrong direction. https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/2594228627557757  It is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s full response to Representative Ted Yoho who insulted her in front of the press… … and this man is married with two daughters… he is a True Trumpian!

Sweden’s Virus Results are Awful

Recently the international media has been commenting on the fact that Sweden has not endured economic pain from the virus because they did not introduce the sort of Draconian lockdown at the rest of Europe has seen. FT July 2020 “Swedish companies reap benefits of country’s Covid-19 approach” New York Times April 2020 “‘Life Has to Go On’: How Sweden Has Faced the Virus Without a Lockdown”. Sweden has been held up as a country that has successfully curbed the

Big Bad Companies – Why Do We Give Them Business?

When the Corona virus struck many countries tried to buy face masks. Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency bought several million masks in March this year from a small company, only to discover that they were not what was ordered and the contract was promptly cancelled. It’s quite clear that the same company will not be used again. That would be a rational act by the Finnish government – you can imagine what would happen if they did! However, there

EU Bullies… Not the Way to Lead

We are told that Europe needs a huge emergency package because the Virus has devastated Europe. The amount of money is beyond belief – €750 billion… We already know that the misuse of EU funds, financial fraud inside EU bodies and in many member states is rife… amounts of this size cannot be handed out with strict controls… … and we already know that such controls do not exist. Let’s be clear – the Virus is responsible for some

Other peoples’ money… No!

The European Union is not a federal state, but a collection of independent states that take responsibility for their own economic development and social services. There are clear differences in the standard of living, economic development and social services between the states, but there is a fundamental agreement that the EU does not interfere or decide upon national taxation or how public money is distributed within each state. Relatively clear rules prevent state aid that can disrupt their competition

Nikari – World Class Sustainable Design

Nikari is a small Finnish cabinet maker that produces beautiful long-lasting furniture from wood and leather, etc – and they really are sustainable – it is not just lip-service… They are located here in Finland, in a small village valley called Fiskers Village… Their workshop is above a small river that is dammed with a small hydro electric plant under their building that produces all the power they use. They have taken sustainability to a new level – one that

Trumps Abuses Rule of Law and Mueller Strikes Back…

Trump has pardoned a criminal who is a friend, white and a Republican… The man was convicted of a crime in a court where even the judge complained that Trump was interfering in a judicial process. The above is so shameful that even children can understand that this man is not fit to be president. We have come far from sanity in Washington. He mocks democracy by his being. He defames the United States of American by his actions.

Icelandic Sea Explorer Docked by Virus in Ingå, Finland

FinnishNews has always been interested in writing about entrepreneurship, and in the following article one can only be impressed with people who strive to do some of the most challenging business activities you can imagine. Sigurdur Jonsson had a thriving business running two steel yachts, Arktika and Aurora, from Iceland from whence they travelled around Iceland to Greenland and to the other islands in the icey northern hemisphere.  This was his life that was built up from a very

Flight Chaos – Calling them is Hell!

There can be no excuse why the airlines cannot function in honestly and promptly now that we are into the recovery phase of the Virus. At the end of January 2020, your correspondent purchased 2 flight tickets from Helsinki to Innsbruck on Austrian Airlines for an outward trip on 20th June and a return trip on 10th July 2020. We received a single 6-character Flight Code Number for the whole return trip for both of us. According to our

Finnish Politics – All Is Not Lost

From time to time it is useful to view Finnish politics in relation to what is going on elsewhere. When you read the newspapers and watch the news today from Europe, the Americas, Russia, China, or Asia Pacific region, you get the feeling that most of the leaders are hopeless at managing things, or that their voters just do not understand who they are voting for… and then when you look at what is going on here you can,

YLP! – Food Made with Love & Skill in Tammisaari

Your Local Pizza in Tammisaari is not really Your Local Pizza, but it’s one of the best restaurants in Helsinki if it was in Helsinki. Tammisaari is just 90 km west of Helsinki, a 1 hour car trip along a nice quiet road. My wife and I have spent almost three months here on our island near Tammisaari because of the virus. We have to leave the island to stock up every week or so. However the last three

Financial Regulators Regulate So Lightly and More

New FinTech companies were meant to disrupt the banking market – their plans, announced a few years ago, sounded so grand and promised so much to consumers! … and digital solutions for payments and banking services have been disrupting the financial markets, and that is proving to be very true, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. But these FinTech companies have not been alone in disrupting the financial markets. The banks themselves have also been pretty active at disrupting

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT FINNISH SUMMER

By Yana Basenko.   The moment you’re sitting by the water and almost forgetting that day and night exist. The sun seems to never fall behind the horizon; only gentle orange skies that we shamelessly take pictures of to remember those never-ending summer nights. Everything comes alive. The forest, the lakes, the animals, the people. Oh do the people come alive! Those lit up faces covered in the soft sun kisses in the shape of freckles, the joy bursting

Big Auditors Behave Like Killer Robots

This world is not very good at regulating, limiting, banning and punishing the very big things that are slowly killing us. It is time for change… There are many sci-fi films today where we see robots routinely attacking human beings in a systematic manner. It takes a hero to stop them, or not… The huge social media companies are propagating false news and lies with impunity. They are enabling corrupt politicians and other leaders to incite others to violence.

True Finns Propagate Criminal Hate Speech

This week is seeing how MP’s in Finland can get away with criminal racist hate speech without any sanctions. A True Finn MP called asylum seekers “an invasive species” in a speech in Parliament. Hate speech is defined as public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Normal folk will be given a fine or a prison term if found guilty in a

Finland’s Dirty Secret – Extracting Peat for Energy

Sitra and OutDoor Journal have written two reports about how Finland is using peat. The Finnish government is suffering from a mild dose of Schizophrenia because of peat that is used for heating and power throughout the country. These two shed some light on this question. The Finnish Innovation Fund (its called Sitra here in Finland), a publicly controlled think tank, has just published a long report on how Finland should stop using local peat because it is a fossil fuel

Death tells all…

Death is final and can’t be reversed. The Virus has seen many countries reporting death rates dishonestly, while a very small number had done it honestly. But what can you expect when many politicians have take the “I-am-in-charge-route”. This has lead to the result that a coordinated global response to the pandemic have melted away and we are left with a far from optimal series of hopeless measures.  WHO should have led the response but they appear to be

STOP PRESS – Do Not Follow Financial Experts

Again this last week has seen a big fall in share prices after a big rise. Thursday’s big drop was the result of a statement by the head of the US Central Bank who said that things are bad in the US economy, something that is painfully obvious with 40 million unemployed, with the Pandemic, with Sanctions, with Trade fights with China, and with Trump’s crazy divisive behaviour. It is surprising that share prices have all gone up the

Nobody Should Want This Brexit or Those Leaders

The Coronavirus has blown Brexit off newspaper headlines. The UK government has proved itself to be incapable of proper management of both crisis.  The latest figures for the big western countries put the UK clearly at the top of the class when you look at deaths relative to 100 000 of the population. That is a terrible result and shows incredibly bad management and a callous approach to human lives.   All of the Nordics did much better than

Ups and Downs in Finland and Sweden

The Social Democrats hold the pole positions in Helsinki and Stockholm. The respective prime ministers of both countries have been careful and thorough in what they have been saying and doing. The latest figures from the Gallups show big increases for the popularity of both parties in Finland and Sweden respectively. The popularity of the social Democrats in Finland has increased moderately, while the popularity of the social Democrats in Sweden has increased dramatically. In both cases the media

Finns Get New Minister of Finance

The political parade in Finland has again turned in a full circle. A former prime minister and party leader of the Centre party has agreed to take over the heavy position of minister of finance after the resignation of his colleague, Ms Kulmuni. Her departure was necessary after her poor leadership of the party – the Center Party has seen their popularity fall like a stone under her leadership. She also had to resign because she acknowledged her error

Superficial Gender Equality: Ukraine vs. Finland

By Yana Basenko We are told that the majority of our worldview is shaped when we are still kids. The environment, upbringing and daily experiences are among the key factors that make us into the human beings we are today. As realistic and possible as that might sound, this kind of thinking is incredibly limiting and almost automatically puts us under the belief system of people being incapable of change. This serves as an imaginary protection shield from the

Finnish Politics – Getting Hectic, Again!

This was the week that saw two events that created a media storm but not much else: The surprising resignation of the Minister of Finance, and The government announced a rejection of the EU’s budget proposal. The resignation of the Minister of Finance – The decision by the minister to resign was a big surprise for Finnish politicians and voters. The minister had attended a media training program that was far too expensive (c. €50 000), and that also did

German & French Declarations of State Aid War?

The Virus is estimated to claim between 10% and 20% of the lives of all companies in Europe and in the US. The global lockdown, protectionism and Trump’s over-eager trade wars are forcing many companies into bankruptcy. In order to overcome the fact that demand has collapsed as a result of the above, governments are now pouring money into their economies as if there is no tomorrow. Governments have long recognized the fact that fair competition can be killed

Nordic Municipalities are a Great Strength

Regional government in all of the Nordic countries handles most of the basic services – education, local public transport, health- and social-care, local road networks, social housing, kindergartens, water, many heating and power networks like district heating, as well as cultural services like libraries and local theatres and music venues. They are ubiquitous and an important part of the body of each country’s government through the Constitution and hundreds of pieces of other separate legislation. All residents by law

It Didn’t Take Much to Kill America

We are all frightened by violence, but we are lucky because, for the most part, the Nordic countries are safe for all. We do not have to be frightened by criminal gangs, brutal police and cruel armies. The biggest dangers are obesity, cancer, and driven carelessly cars and lorries. We do not have cameras on every corner watching us. We do not have to worry that the police will swoop down on us if we say something bad about

The Myth of Gender Equality…

Gender Equality is one of those phrases people like to use. Every company and every public body needs to have a gender balance between 60%/40% and 40%/60% in top positions, not because women need to be treated equally but because both sexes are needed to produce stronger, more diverse and balanced activities. Neither men nor women have magic powers to get things right but together there is a greater possibility that they will succeed better.  You can use the

A Nordic View of the Chinese Miracle

The economic miracle of China is not a miracle, but signal of the diligence and discipline of very large numbers of the Chinese people. There should be no surprise to anybody living in Europe or in the United States where similar characteristics were the powers behind the great economic and social progress made over the last hundred years. That progress in Europe and in United States has slowed down as one would expect with these great achievements. China still

No More Virus Numbers & Clear Results

You only have to look quickly at these numbers that we have been following for the last 3 months and the results are clear. It appears that half of our list of these developed countries have produced results where not too many have died from the Virus, but the other half has done a bad job at controlling the spread of the Virus. There area clear conclusions from looking at this table: The actions of independent nations and their

Why Do We Feel Like Fools Today?

Many politicians in the government and in the opposition have become immune to common sense when dealing with the economic consequences of the Virus.  The big questions we are faced with who should we help and should we even help others when our own country is pushed into difficult times? These are the 2 big questions posed today by our governments and by the EU’s leaders – they come up with proposals that sound fine until we realise that

Five Steps for Start-Ups to Follow

Starting a new business is always challenging. It’s not a one-way straight line to success. Sometimes it’s messy and confusing, sometimes it takes time and effort, sometimes you just get lucky and sometimes you don’t. Mistakes teach us the most valuable lessons; however, we don’t always have to go through them ourselves. This is why today we had the pleasure to sit down with Elena Tochilina – a business mentor and expert with over 12 years of experience in

Relief or Not (?) as Virus Deaths Fall

Even though there are huge differences in the numbers of deaths per 100 000 of the population, the numbers are showing a clear fall from last week and that is a relief, at least for those countries on the list. Deaths are generally reported in the same manner by officials over time, either out of habit, idleness or policy! That should result is having a reliable set of numbers that indicates the trend correctly, even if the numbers do

BlackRock Voted Against Fortum’s Board for Discharging from Liability

The Finnish government owns 51% of Fortum Plc, one of the biggest companies in Finland, that is engaged in the generation and sale of electricity and heat, operation and maintenance of power plant and energy-related services. Fortum is a listed company that recently acquired a 73% majority stake in Uniper, substantially increasing its exposure to coal-fired power generation due to Uniper’s portfolio. More than 30% of the combined is based on coal. Consequently, this deal significantly increases Fortum’s carbon intensity.

This Week in Finnish Politics – Facemasks, Railway Teatime, and the FT

The Editor in chief apologies for the lack of news about Finnish politics but the truth is that there is nothing to say. Newspapers here have been covering the same Virus with different angles in attempt to fill the pages because, according to them, nothing else is happening… But this week saw some small glimmers of light and it’s difficult to know whether one should laugh or cry at this latest news on Finnish politics. The first piece of

The Virus Shows a Need to Reform Banking

This crisis is showing the true business model of banks. They are naturally pursuing profits, and there is nothing wrong with that, but when they do it at our expense and at our risk then the government should act to change this. Banks resist changes that are unfavourable to the present status quo and they make three claims: Banks are claiming to be doing “god’s work”, as the former head of Goldman Sachs once claimed. Looking at the way

Why Do We Have Much Slower Death Rates?

The media continues to fill the airwaves and newspapers with overwhelming doses of data and details about the Virus. Most of it is not news but trivial stories about this and that – they lack perspective and factual data. Yes, this is a serious pandemic without any known cure yet, however the numbers of deaths are a small 2,7% fraction of normal deaths occurring each year, natural or otherwise, well below the death rate for the 5 most common

Investing by Beating the Fear & Greed Index

I have been investing money for almost 60 years and I continue to wonder how is it still possible that bankers, fund managers, financial advisors and large numbers of journalists continue to believe the world’s biggest myth that they know or can forecast what is going to happen to the prices of shares, interest rates, houses and commodities. Björn Wahlroos, Jorma Ollila, Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Christer Gardell, Larry Fink, (me too), and thousands of”professionals do not have a

Finnish Scientists Developing Nasal Vaccine Against COVID-19

Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala at the University of Eastern Finland is working together with scientists from the University of Helsinki to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that will make use of gene transfer technology that has been developed in Kuopio. The efficacy of the vaccine, developed in collaboration with Professor Kalle Saksela and Academy Professor Kari Alitalo, can possibly be tested already this autumn. The drug development process can move forward quickly, thanks to the scientists already having the required

Finnish University Take Innovative Approaches to Virus

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have launched, already at the early stage of the pandemic, various projects to analyse and explore the exceptional situation from different perspectives. Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala at is working together with scientists from the University of Helsinki to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that will make use of gene transfer technology that has been developed in Kuopio. The vaccine, developed in collaboration with Professor Kalle Saksela and Academy Professor Kari Alitalo, will be

Frightening News about Virus Impact on Minorities

This announcement appeared this week in the UK’s Office for National Statistics and it is probably one of the most disturbing facts in addition to the terrible negligence in private and public care homes of the aged in many countries. Here is the link for those readers interested in more detail. The report states that Covid-19 mortality rates for black and other minority ethnic groups in the UK are up to four times higher than those of white Britons. Even after

Finding Home: Ukrainian in Finland

By Yana Basenko As Heraclius said: “The only constant thing in life is change”. It is ingrained in us. It is an inevitable part of our life cycles. It is unavoidable and quite essential. You are not the same person you were a year ago; tomorrow will mold you into a new “you”. Circumstances, people, events, experiences – all leave a mark that in one way or another changes your reality and perception. Travelling often takes it to a

The Virus Slows Down But Lurks in the Corners

The above figures are not really very reassuring because older folk and somewhat fewer younger patients are still dying from complications caused by the virus. The biggest weakness with this is that each country is dealing with this in a nationalistic manner with egoistic politicians appearing on our screens as if they are the ones controlling this. There should have been a global effort to monitor the virus and a global effort to ensure that there are enough masks

Finns Pay 40% More for Electricity than Swedes!

Your correspondent has just spent a couple of hours examining the cost of electricity for two households in Helsinki and Stockholm. He used two real sets of invoices for the three month period January – March 2020. The task was horrible because the companies use different ways to present their invoices even though the companies are selling exactly the same product to users. In Finland the invoices come from two different companies – one for the amount of electricity

Taxpayers’ Cash Fills Banks’ Pockets too

The European Central Bank has expanded its programme to support banks with loans that are at record-low levels because the ECB believes that the eurozone economy could shrink by some 12% this year because of the coronavirus crisis.   Record low rates mean that the ECB is actually paying the banks to borrow from it – the loans have negative interest rates! The ECB is backed by Eurozone taxpayers and is not some alien from another Cosmos. The ECB

Virus Deaths Threat Worse Than Reality

The Human Condition is such that around 1% of us die each year, which means that around 7.4 million Europeans die from the population of 740 million, and some 70 million will be dying this year with our global population of some 7.4 billion. So far there have been around 240 000 deaths from the virus which is around 0.3% of the total expected annual number of global deaths… That is a very small number, which even doubled or

Private Sector Bosses Dig Own Graves

Your correspondent is pretty sure that the big bosses of many of the big companies in almost every developed country around the world are now demanding cash from taxpayers because of the “ravages of the virus.” These Masters of the Universe with their multimillion dollar salaries seem to be really unprepared for what they are calling a “Black Swan Event”…. And let’s be clear there has been no lack of warnings about the next big crisis.  It was only

Virus Slows But Not Eradicated Yet…

As you can see the numbers have started to slow down because Lockdown has been effective. The differences have increased between the best and the worst… Now accusations are flying about State Aid, to speed of the removal of LockDown, about the effectiveness of public support and about the lack of preparedness. The most important work for us now is to speed up our work on slowing Climate Change before we are faced a similar crisis caused by atmospheric

Finnish Healthcare Very Effective at Containing Virus

Up until today, deaths from the Virus in Finland were mainly concentrated on older folk with serious heart and diabetes conditions. Although their deaths are a great loss, they were vulnerable patients through no fault of their own, and their numbers, thanks goodness,  were much lower compared to almost every other developed country. The figures below show that good governance that can produce relatively low death rates. As mentioned above those who have unfortunately died were either old or

Italian Bonds Just Above Junk Status

When I was a young man in one of the well established banks in Singapore, we sold government bonds to central banks in big countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. One of the main conditions for buying such bonds was that the government must have a good credit rating which is at least a AA or Aa Moody’s and Standard & Poors, the two largest credit rating agencies in the world.  It was the same in

National Interests Go Far Above EU Rules

“Air France” planes are grounded, so we need to support Air France” said Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister on television and promised €9 billion for the company, but only on condition that it must become the most environmentally friendly company on the planet… He also confirmed that the government is planning to give €5 billion to support the French carmaker Renault – obviously they are also making this other fossil fuel guzzler into “the most environmentally friendly

AFTERMATH: A nightmare picture of the World after the Pandemic

Here is another interesting article with a link to a really challenging paper from Robin Chater, who happens to the Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers, an international Think Tank. His article is not in any way comforting, but it is still a pragmatic attempt to picture how the Virus is a huge threat to life as we know. How much more damage can be self-inflicted before we “learn our lessons” again? I am posting a link to this

The Virus has Struck – Collateral for Aid Please

FinnishNews has been writing regularly about how the EU is incapable of making coherent and transparent policy decisions. It is almost beyond belief that 27 national states can sit in the same room when we all know that there is so much corruption within the system. ”Do you know how a man makes his way here? By brilliant genius or by skilful corruption. You must either cut your way through these masses of men like a cannon ball, or

Corona – What Will Final Death Rates Look Like?

The above figures continue to show divergence between the countries with well managed hospital care, where populations are more disciplined and listen to their experts and smart leaders, and where public healthcare has been properly maintained, and not driven into poverty by the greed of some private healthcare interests and their partners, large parts of the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, the above figures illustrate two matters that are of great interest – what will be the final

Finland Must Implement Urgent Reforms After Virus

The Virus has shown up most of the biggest weaknesses in Finland.  The country has been living beyond its means for many years and allowed creeping rot to infect large parts of the economy.  Urgent and rather obvious reforms that have not been implemented because there has been no sense of urgency and strong vested interests have blocked almost all discussion on the need for such reforms.  The Finnish government is now seeing a huge fall in tax revenues

Our EU Employs Anti-Green to Green the Banks!

BlackRock is about as far from Green as you can get – just look at the name and who they are. It is one of the world’s largest asset managers and financial service providers who has always in vested heavily in whatever makes a buck, including fossil fuels – mining, refiners, distributers, energy production, and transport… you name it, they have it… USD1,8 trillion of investments in the black and oily stuff… They have a huge advisory arm too

What Simple Models Teach about Covid 19 in Sweden?

By Chong Qi and Ramon A Wyss The case of Sweden dealing with Covid19 has caused quite some attention and discussion in Europe. We have used a standard epidemiology model to fit to existing data in Sweden. Our fit from April 2 reproduces the observed data well. It appears that Sweden has reached the peak during Easter. The results show that Sweden is hit less hard by the pandemic than countries in Southern Europe, while relying on its citizens

Snakes and Ladders – Food for Thought over Easter!

I was researching the board game ‘Snakes and Ladders’ the other day. Long story. Anyway, I was surprised-not surprised to learn that it, along with Ludo and Pachisi, is an ancient game that originated from India. Snakes and Ladders, originally known as ‘Moksha Patam’, is almost two thousand years old. What intrigued me most, beyond the fact that ancient India seemed to be an infinite source of genius board game IPs, was that Snakes and Ladders was, like Monopoly