The seminar provided an opportunity for business leaders to put pressure on the Minister about the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the support measures approved by the Finnish government. Lintilä acknowledged that the crisis has left the tourism industry in a “very serious” situation, and reiterated his dissatisfaction with the government’s strict stance on entry restrictions.
“We have invested unreasonably in this with our own measures,” he complained. “I announced a month ago that we should raise [incidence-based travel] borders and close nightclubs. “
The distribution of financial support to companies during a pandemic has been criticized since last spring. Lintilä reminded on Thursday that the government was unable to provide direct subsidies at the start of the crisis because the required legislation had yet to be passed.
He also urged employers to act responsibly, recalling that they will inevitably have a labor shortage and employees will choose employers who provide good training opportunities throughout their careers. Scania is one example, he said: as a result of the closure of its production plant, hundreds of people will become unemployed and could be retrained to deal with electricity shortages.
Business leaders also had a say.
Topi ManierFinnair’s CEO questioned the Board’s demand for some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe. “The board has been a good owner, but a bad regulator for Finnair,” he said. “This is something that needs to change in a way that doesn’t compromise health security.”
Laura Peippo, CEO of Levi Wellness Club, drew attention to the importance of air and rail connections in attracting tourists to Northern Finland. The people of Lapland, he stressed, are deeply concerned about the winter season: When international visitors don’t just travel to the area a lot, the focus has to shift to domestic ones.
The seminar was organized in co-operation with Kesko.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Quelle: Die nordische Seite