Ministers ignored exposure warning, better guidelines needed, another no to save Malmi airport


Morning papers report that Prime Minister Sanna Marin was not the only member of the government who did not isolate himself after potential exposure to the coronavirus.

The two cabinet members said they ignored the isolation advice and said they tested negative at home. Image: Rawf8 / Alamy

According to the Helsinki daily Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Minister of Economic Affairs Mika lintilä (Cen) attended a floorball match between Finland and Latvia on Sunday afternoon, even though he received information on Saturday about possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Lintilä attended a meeting on Friday, which was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka haavisto (Green) who tested positive for the virus the next day.

In an interview with Helsingin Sanomat, Lintilä said he did not believe he had been exposed to the coronavirus, explaining that he sat a distance from Haavisto, that masks were worn during the rally, and that he did a home test before going to the correspondence.

Meanwhile, the Ilta-Sanomat tabloid reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that the Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen (Cen), who also attended the same meeting with Haavisto, attended a dinner on Sunday marking the 75th anniversary of the Center Party’s youth wing.

Kaikkonen said in an interview with Ilta-Sanomat that he didn’t believe he was exposed.

“I was in the same room as Foreign Minister Haavisto during the cabinet session on Friday. The meeting was short, around 15 minutes. We were not in close contact. We sat on each other’s side. side of the room. All the attendees wore a mask, “Kaikkonen told the paper, adding that he also had a test that gave a negative result before attending the dinner.

Hanna markkanen, chairman of the Center Party youth organization, told Ilta-Sanomat that the Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen (Cen) and Minister of Finance Annika saarikko (Cen) canceled plans to attend the event after being told about the possible exhibit.

Special treatment for politicians?

In signed comment (siirryt toiseen palveluun) in Thursday’s Iltalehti, political affairs journalist Kreeta karvala notes that communication problems are often used as a scapegoat in various crises, as was the case this week over the media storm surrounding the Prime Minister Sanna Marinis night in town.

However, communication problems often indicate that an organization’s policies and guidelines are not in place, Karvala says.

“If the public has struggled to understand the coronavirus guidelines, so have politicians,” she wrote, noting that while the guidelines for MPs and ministers are based on the same instructions from THL, they are adapted differently.

“You would think common sense would dictate that the health of a foreign minister who makes an average of two trips a week abroad would be of particular concern. But Haavisto, 63, has yet to receive a third dose. vaccine, because it’s been just under six months since her second dose, “Karvala continues.

She suggests that at this point it would be useful to update the practices so that politicians who decide on national affairs and travel abroad for work can receive special treatment to keep them healthy and functional.

Difficult road for Party Finns

In the municipal elections last spring, the party came in fourth position. The newspaper points out that supporters of the Finnish Party are generally not very active voters, and according to preliminary estimates the participation rate in these new regional elections is expected to be very low, around 40%.

In an interview with Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, chairman of the Finnish Party Riikka purra criticized the current government for “rushing” the rest of Europe into climate action. According to his party, Finland should keep pace with other EU countries and aim for carbon neutrality in 2050, rather than the Finnish target of 2035.

“Prime Minister Sanna Marin has repeatedly said that Finland will gain an advantage as a pioneer and that [Finnish] companies are gaining a foothold in the market. However, there is no proof of this. There just isn’t any concrete evidence, ”Purra said.

“The desire to be number one in climate action is primarily a matter of selfish posture,” she argues.

Airport referendum rejected

The Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun) writes that the closure of Malmi Airport in Helsinki and the plan to fill the area with housing is an issue that haunts local politicians time and time again and was the subject of another heated city council debate on Wednesday night.

Many Helsinki residents are unhappy with the airport’s closure and oppose planned construction of housing for tens of thousands of new residents.

Nearly 27,000 people signed a local citizens’ initiative which was tabled at the end of the summer calling for a consultative referendum.

A vote that rejected the referendum proposal saw a split in most of the parties represented on the council, with the Greens the only party to reject it unanimously.

The main argument against a referendum is that the issue has been dealt with and plans approved several times in the council since 2012.

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