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Finland for Thought » 2005 » May | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

Finland for Thought
             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

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31.5.2005

Finland – big country, small houses

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 6:44 am
 

From 6d

Based on 2003 statistics, a Finn has on average 31m² of living space. This despite the fact that Finns have the most outdoor space per capita. Among the 15 EU countries, the 31m² is the fifth lowest, followed by Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain, each of which have only marginally less living space. The Danish live most comfortably, by having 52m² of living space, also above 40m² of space are Luxembourgers, Swedes and the Dutch.

Finland is the sparsest populated country in the EU, yet the fifth lowest living space? That’s distressing.

In regards to house loan rates, Finns fare well in second place. The variance of new loans is quite small, however, ranging from 3.1% (Netherlands) to 4.3% (Germany). In comparison of debt levels, Finnish house loans are the third lowest relative to GDP. Relative to others, the average house loan of a Finn is also the second lowest.

Maybe if Finns spent more on houses, they’d have bigger homes?

30.5.2005

NUN!

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:29 pm

Yeah, the French voted NON yesterday on the EU constitution. I’m happy to see there is gridlock in Europe!

Way back when in the U.S., each individual state was like it’s own little country. But as the federal government grew, states’ rights slowly disappeared and nowadays states have very little purpose. Let’s not have this happen to Europe.

New issue of 6d available…

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 2:51 pm

A few days late – but I just noticed that the latest issue of 6-Degrees magazine is out. Read it online or pick it up free in the city.

In this issue they touch on Suomenlinna, Eugene Holman, logging in Lapland, Juhannus, railway station art, America, the 9/11 attacks, Porvoo, toilet paper, Nordic walking, Kiasma, George W. Bush – wow, only three columns so far about the U.S., I think that’s a record low for 6d.

UTFART!

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:35 am

This Swedish girl puts the “fart” back in UTFART…

http://svt.rude.se/

Hat tip to Lassi N. for the link!

OECD: Finnish family childcare benefits too good

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:56 am

From STT

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommends for Finland to curb either the level or the duration of benefits paid for children being cared for at home, as according to OECD logic this way more women would be in working life to compensate for dropping birth rates. If mothers stay away from working life for too long, their career options are permanently hurt, the organisation argues.

Mark Pearson of OECD, speaking Friday at a OECD press conference in Helsinki, said that benefits for families caring for their toddlers at home instead of dropping them at childcare centres lasted far too long in Finland. The benefits encourage people to care for their children themselves: in Finland, 44 per cent of two-year-olds were in daycare outside of the home while in Sweden, the figure stands at 85 per cent.

This is a very encouraging statistic, I’m happy to see so many Finnish children home with a parent rather dumped off at some daycare center. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’d suspect that giving child benefits to stay-at-home-parents is much cheaper than paying for daycare. Also, OECD’s plan would only send the poorer and single women back to work early – upper income families can afford to stay at home with their children.

Finland’s Minister of Health and Social Services Liisa Hyssälä (centre) as well as Minister of Social Affairs and Health Sinikka Mönkäre (soc dem) defended ardently the current practice at a press conference Friday.

Wow, that’s a first, Mönkäre/Hyssälä and I are actually in agreement! Kudos to those two for taking a stand on this issue.

Kimi: Sad result for whole team

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:41 am

The Finn had led from start to finish

Nokia wins 100-million-euro Kuwaiti mobile deal

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:39 am

Signing ceremony confirming the deal was attended by Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen

Extensive Flood Damage in Lapland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:34 am

Officials reported that flood waters had finally begun to recede

Abducted Girl Found

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:33 am

Man carried her into his car and drove her to his apartment

Finns have confidence in their own economies, but not Finland’s -SF

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:32 am

Confidence in Finland’s economy and employment continued to weaken

Finnish family childcare benefits too good – OECD

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:30 am

Benefits had given many parents the choice of spending more time with their children

Finnish military to clear wartime aerial bomb in Helsinki residential district

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:29 am

Authorities add there is no reason to expect the bomb to explode.

After resounding French `non’, Finnish PM says ratification must continue

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:28 am

Around 55 per cent of the French people who decided to vote on Sunday rejected the treaty

Sweets manufacturer Panda sold to Norway

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:28 am

Panda’s net sales in 2004 amounted to about EUR 52 million

Report says most Finnish prostitutes work part-time

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:26 am

The share of professional prostitutes is quite small

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