Thursday’s papers: Life expectancy, summer trips, EU pressures

Thursday's papers: Life expectancy, summer trips, EU pressures

Finland’s largest daily circulation, Helsingin sanomat newspaper, refers to statistics showing that a university-trained male engineer living in Espoo is likely to live 12 years longer than a low-income man living in Kajaani in northeastern Kainuu.

Overall, this difference is nine years. The life expectancy of men with higher national incomes is 82 years. Low-income men are likely to die almost a decade earlier, at about age 73.

HS writes that the inequalities in men’s health in Finland are the largest in Western Europe, although the income inequalities are small internationally, and asks how this is possible.

Alcohol, circulatory diseases, accidents, or suicides are more likely to cause early deaths in low-income men. On the other hand, women’s income levels, education, and occupation are less significantly associated with mortality. The difference in life expectancy between women in the highest and lowest income categories is five years.

The reason has been suggested that low-income women eat healthier, exercise more, drink less alcohol, and are more likely to see a doctor than low-income men.

Sakari KarvonenResearch professor from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) told Helsingin Sanomat that there may be one explanation for the large variation in men’s life expectancy in the health care system. Some men have access to employer-funded care, while others depend on public health services that may be difficult to access and where queues for a doctor’s appointment are longer.

Another explanation for the differences in men’s life expectancy can be found in living conditions, work environment, and leisure. Low-income people are more likely to work in a profession where they are more prone to accidents or occupational diseases.

The third and probably most significant reason for men’s health inequalities is their lifestyle – whether they exercise, smoke, drink a lot, eat healthily or not. Studies show, Helsingin Sanomat writes, that men from low-income groups eat less vegetables, exercise less and smoke more.

Summer trips

Tabloids Evening News says that anyone who has spent a lot of time in the countryside knows what to do when cows that have been locked in a barn all winter are finally let out – there is a huge rush through the doors and some can harm themselves, "But, oh the joy of replacing an obsolete livestock board with fresh open pastures."

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Finns and other Western Europeans, but also our Russian neighbors, are now longing for the outside world, writes Ilta-Sanomat.

It notes increasing pressure on authorities, politicians and tour operators. If the European Union’s plans materialize, the so-called “digital green certificate”, a common EU document to facilitate travel within the block, will be in force until July or early August.

At the end of May, a national vaccination certificate will be introduced in Finland. According to a press release from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland’s own certificate should facilitate travel to EU countries that accept national certificates before the entry into force of the common vaccination certificate.

Finnair will start accepting vaccination certificates from passengers arriving in Finland on 11 May.

However, Ilta-Sanomat points out that tourism from Russia is still a big question mark, as the country’s infection rates and vaccines are much worse than here, at least for the time being. In addition, the Sputnik V vaccine is still being evaluated by the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency, so the Sputnik V certificate has not yet been universally recognized as valid.

According to this document, there is still a lot of pressure to open the Russian border in both Finland and Russia. The first major challenge is the UEFA European Football Championship in St. Petersburg in mid-June. Can Finnish fans travel across the border and under what conditions?

Ilta-Sanomat argues that facilitating tourism to Russia should not be impossible if border crossing points can be given to people who can prove vaccination with an approved vaccine, recovery from Covid, or a recent negative test result. As long as Europe and Russia do not agree on approved vaccinations, the paper speculates that even vaccinated people may still have to produce negative test results.

EU pressure

Iltalehti reports that neither prime minister Sanna Marin or officials in the Prime Minister’s Office confirm or deny whether EU officials warned Finland of serious political consequences if the Finnish Parliament does not approve the EU’s € 750 billion stimulus package.

At the end of April, Yle announced that an EU official had warned Finland of “unprecedented damage to its reputation” if Finland did not accept the EU’s stimulus package. The Committee on Constitutional Affairs considered the matter on 27 April, noting that the transition would require a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

According to Iltalehti, the leak of that debate seems to have tried to influence the debate in committee.

Both Marin Secretary of State for EU Affairs Jari Luoto and Head of the EU Affairs Department in the Prime Minister’s Office Kare Halonen confirmed to Iltalehti, however, that an official from the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union told the Prime Minister that the EU had no "plan B" if Finland does not accept the stimulus package.

According to unconfirmed information received by Iltalehti from various official sources, Halonen discussed the matter Alberto de Gregorio, Head of the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union. Halonen and de Gregorio have not denied or confirmed that they had a discussion.

After the snow

Jyväskylä Central Finn tells readers that although there will still be snow, snow and rain in Finland at least at the end of this week, it will soon be followed by summer temperatures.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s current forecast, temperatures in the southern and western parts of the country are expected to be around 10-15 degrees next week, possibly as high as 20 degrees. Some eastern areas may also record 20C weather next week.

When the weather warms up, spring can even be in the air in the far north, says FMI meteorologist Juha Sihvonen.

Source: The Nordic Page

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