Wednesday’s newspapers: NATO or not, Covid still deadly, Finland’s aging population

The country’s largest daily circulation, Helsingin Sanomat writes Most signs now point in the direction that is likely to apply for membership this year.

One of the signs mentioned by the magazine is the rapid change in the attitudes of the nation’s citizens. For the first time in Finland’s history, the majority of supporters of all parliamentary parties, with the exception of the Left Alliance, are now in favor of joining NATO.

The Finnish political leadership has also begun to make progress, while the Swedish leadership is only considering alternatives.

HS points out that in recent weeks, Finnish leaders have flocked to Europe and the United States, and negotiations have always concerned NATO.

Tuesday, President wrote that he and the NATO Secretary General were in talks last Monday Jens Stoltenberg "thoroughly reviewed NATO’s policies and procedures for admitting new members."

Many key politicians have also announced that they have become supporters of NATO membership.

interviewed 13 security policy experts to find out whether the picture of Finland’s progress towards NATO is correct or not.

The general impression is that a membership application is entirely possible, but it is not stated directly. At the same time, HS sources emphasized that no preliminary decision had yet been made on membership.

The newspaper writes that it had no conclusive evidence that key security policy makers had already decided to apply for membership.

Most of HS’s sources are cautious about assessing how likely it is that Finland will apply for NATO membership next summer.

The world is now changing so fast that it is not at all certain whether Finland will finally submit an application, for example, after this spring’s parliamentary debate, even if there is enough political will, writes Helsingin Sanomat.

Meanwhile, the afternoon newspaper Iltalehti tells about it The Business Forum EVA has published more results from its value and attitude survey conducted in the spring of 2022.

According to this latest press release, as many as 74 per cent of believed that NATO membership would improve Finland’s security. Only seven percent felt that membership would undermine security.

As writes, this is a huge change. Back in 2007, 36 per cent of Finns believed that membership would improve Finland’s military security and 21 per cent believed that membership would weaken it.

"The big change in public opinion shows that Finns are surprised. We thought we were safe, and the security benefits of NATO membership were not previously considered worth the burden and risks of the alliance. The war in Ukraine revealed a clear security deficit in Finland." EVA Research Manager Ilkka Haavisto states in a press release quoted by Iltalehti.

Covid remains deadly

Helsinki Evening News writes that more and more researchers around the world are now saying that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may never become a common seasonal flu, but it is likely to continue as a disease that causes severe symptoms and deaths, especially in the elderly.

The reason is the aggressiveness of this coronavirus, how it penetrates human cells and what changes it makes in the cells.

Ilkka JulkunenThe professor of virology at the University of Turku told that SARS-CoV-2 is clearly different from other seasonal flu-causing coronaviruses.

"There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 turns into a mild infection such as seasonal flu. In order for the virus to no longer become dangerous to humans, it should become a completely new virus. I think it is unlikely that the virus would change so dramatically. I do not see that the coronavirus would become much less dangerous for at least a few years," Julkunen said.

Finland’s third oldest population

Hufvudstadsbladet looking at new British research "Aging in place" which says that 22.49 per cent of Finns have reached the age of 65, making the Finnish population the third oldest in the world.

Only Japan and Italy have a higher percentage of older people.

The study looked at the proportion of the population aged 65 and over in all 38 countries. In Japan, the figure is 28.79%, in Italy 23.37% and in Finland 22.49%, followed closely by , Portugal and .

Latvia, France, Slovenia and Estonia are also among the top ten.

Finland’s third place can also be traced back to the time after the Second World War, when an exceptional number of children were also born. These "boomers" are now retired and rapidly increasing the proportion of retirees in the country’s population.

Winter grip

Iltalehti tells its readers prepare for colder weather in the coming weeks.

According to the latest monthly forecast, no clear warming is in sight and at the beginning of April night temperatures will continue to be zero and daytime temperatures will be slightly above zero.

Wednesday’s weather is expected to be mostly cloudy, with snowfall generally in the south and center of the country and local storms in the north.

Source: The Nordic Page

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