Tuesday newspapers: New minister, lost votes and towed cars | News
Aki Lindén took office on Monday as Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.
Finland has a new minister on Monday, as a Social Democrat MP Aki Linden took office as Minister of Social Affairs and Health.
He replaces Krista Kiuru (SDP), who is going on maternity leave. Helsingin Sanomat interviewed (siirryt toiseen palveluun) Lindén on his first day, with the new minister outlining his views on the Covid situation.
Although he has backed restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus in his role as a backbench MP, he says he is right behind the government’s decision to ease them this month.
The impact of long periods of distance learning on children and young people has been particularly severe and poorly understood within the Finnish government.
That said, he reminded readers that deaths are higher than ever in the outbreak, even though the danger to healthy people from current variants is not as high and the burden on healthcare providers from health is weak.
“That’s more than it has been at any time during the pandemic over a similar period,” Lindén said. “I would not minimize the deaths, even if they are elderly people. Many of them would have had many years of life ahead of them. At the start of the crisis, the management of it rested on a strong sense of solidarity with vulnerable people.”
Hunt for votes in Pirkanmaa
Fallout from regional elections continues in Tampere newspaper Aamulehti, which reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) about a fearless Christian Democrat who tracked down votes she thought were hers, but hadn’t been counted.
Sirpa Pursiainen checked the distribution of the vote tally by electoral district and noticed that she had not received any votes in her home district, even though she had (obviously) voted for herself.
At the same time she saw that party mate Kylli Niemela had received thirty advance votes in Terälahti, his village on the northern outskirts of Tampere, despite having no connection to the region.
His candidate number, which must be listed on the ballot, was 443, while Pursiainen’s was 453. Niemelä got no votes in the village on election day.
“In Terälahti the votes usually go to the locals,” Pursiainen said, alluding to the parochial concerns that tend to dominate village politics in much of Finland.
She contacted the election authorities, who realized their mistake and transferred the votes. Not that it makes much difference: Pursiainen was elected anyway, and the two candidates are from the same party.
AL reports that volunteer vote checkers discovered three more errors in the vote recording, with 1-4 votes involved in each and the results unchanged once rectified.
Towed car prices
Iltalehti continues its coverage (siirryt toiseen palveluun) of the weekend convoy protest, with an overview of the cost of recovering a car if towed from a parking space in the middle of Mannerheimintie.
Most of the vehicles towed Friday night were removed after midnight and taken somewhere nearby, rather than impounded. But car owners will still get a bill, and that can be cumbersome.
The city of Helsinki charges between 118 and 162 for towing a car, with higher costs for four-wheel drive vehicles. There is also an overnight charge of 127 euros if the city has to move it between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., bringing the maximum payable to 289 for the most unfortunate protesters in the convoy.