Tuesday’s newspapers: forestry dispute, rush to retire and frosts in the Far North | New

The government is starting to split over a draft EU forestry regulation which is currently sitting in the Finnish parliament.

Annika Saarikko’s Center Party opposes EU forestry regulations. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Other ideological fissures are beginning to appear between the government coalition parties, according to Helsingin Sanomat’ (siirryt toiseen palveluun)the sources.

The capital-based daily writes that sources from all parties have seen no compromise in the near future on the issues being worked out during the autumn legislature. Taxation issues, a proposed Sámi law and the introduction of congestion charges are some of the legal challenges the government has not yet been able to address.

Chief among these disputes is a row over the European Commission’s forestry regulation, which aims to reforest 20% of EU land and sea areas by 2030.

Given that much of Europe is devoid of forests, the burden for Finland to achieve this goal would be heavy, with some estimates indicating that it would cost the country a billion dollars a year.

Critics of the regulation say it transfers too much authority to the commission on a matter that falls under Finnish sovereignty. The government has already drafted a unanimous position calling for changes, but the Center Party is strongly opposed to regulation.

The Center Party opposed the regulations at a recent finance committee meeting and backed the opposition National Coalition Party’s statement on forest regulations. Joining them was the Prime Minister Sanna Marinthe Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Swedish People’s Party (SPP), also in government.

Center MP Pekka Aittakumpu said Monday that blocking the settlement was a matter of being in government for his party.

“A critical position is not enough, it must be negative. Finland must absolutely oppose the use of the regulation as a regulatory tool and the coveted power of the commission over the use of our forests. This should be a question government for the center. It’s such a huge problem,” Aittakumpu wrote in his announcement.

The government therefore adopted a generally critical position with regard to forest regulations, on which the Left Alliance and the Greens had not wanted the government to emphasize.

In an interview with Yle on Sunday, Prime Minister Marin said Finland might vote against the EU’s proposed settlement.

Ministry of Finance Annikka Saarikko, the Center chair, is currently grappling with the fact that her party is seeing a historic low in support in Yle’s latest poll. Much of the Center Party’s support comes from rural areas where the logging industry is particularly strong.

Connect to pension funds

Aamulehti based in Tampere (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reports that people are rushing to retire this year.

With a 6.8% increase in workers’ pensions at the end of the year, the largest in decades, more and more people are particularly interested in getting their pensions earlier.

Interviewing two pension companies, Aamulehti explained that much of the surge in pension funds is the result of inflation.

Pension society Varma said that last October it received only 190 pension applications while this year, for the same month, it expects around 1,800.

More snow in Lapland

The season of gloves, hats and scarves is back.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected in different parts of Finland on Tuesday, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Snow is also forecast for Finnish Lapland, with white snow expected to fall as far north as Sodankylä. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 centimeters of snow could accumulate.

At the same time, rainy conditions will cover southern Finland.

Paavo Korpela The Finnish Meteorological Institute meteorologist predicted that the whole week will be a mix of cloudy and drizzle conditions.

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