Re: Finland Law changed today that from now on anyone under 18 can't get married in any circumstances. Until now it was possible to apply for exception licence; approximately dozen were given annually, practically always in cases where both were 16-20.
I'm a bit undecided about this. I understand the legal argument - under 18 you still have guardian, you don't have full power to make decisions for yourself, including about your wealth and marriage clearly is that - and there are good moral reasons too. But still, I prefer there to be exceptions and some room left in laws.
Beginning next month, raccoon dogs are outlaws.
They are defined harmful invasive species and you no longer need hunting license for them.
...and starting today, that goes also for musk rat, nutria, mink and raccoon. (Which is odd because I though we didn't have any raccoons yet. There are in Sweden and they're expected to spread here, assuming climate change, but as far as I know this is legal permission to hunt animal we don't have.)
Also for these animals are allowed some hunting methods (night vision equipment for example) that aren't with game animals.
Re: Finland As EU and Russia have been adding sanctions to each other, travel from Russia to Finland has increased by about 10% from last year.
Russians do private shopping trips to get products no longer available there.
Re: Finland 7.3% of population in Finland are of foreign origin; the number has doubled in 10 years. About sixth of those were born in Finland.
The most common background is Russia/Soviet Union, followed by Somalia and Iraq.
Re: Finland Something I wrote on another forum when they wondered why Finland isn't in NATO:
Basically it's that... for better and worse, we have to live with Russia. Though due EU membership and especially current sanctions Germany has become our biggest trade partner, relations with Russia will always have great meaning to Finnish economy. And on that NATO membership is a strong card Finland wants to hold onto as long as possible.
Then there's the idea of NATO getting us dragged into stuff we don't have any business on - or rather US doing so. Iraq War and its various consequences have strengthened that impression (and obviously Trump doesn't help the issue).
Related to that, there are also arguments that EU membership and military cooperation provides good enough guarantees, without the US influence.
And from that we get to the attitude of "neutrality" and suspicion on superpowers that results from lifetime of balancing between West and East, leaving Finns thinking it's good idea. "If you bow to West, you moon to East."
Similarly the same era has rather lulled us to thinking that military conflict just isn't realistic, that doesn't happen here. Even more so for Sweden, which hasn't been in war for two centuries. (IMO there's an equal opposite phenom in US, with people having become used to being at war every few years as normal.)
Practically speaking, I don't think there's ever been a 50% popular support for joining NATO; with option "undecided" in poll, hardly even 40%. Government would have the power to do it (and I'm sure NATO would be quite happy to have us), but it would be a political suicide for the parties.
However there is wide support for current level of cooperation and exercises with NATO or with all EU countries using same equipment standards as NATO.
If it would appear that Sweden is about to join, that might trigger Finland to join NATO. There has in fact been suggestion that Finland and Sweden would make agreement on neither joining NATO without the other (because of existing cooperation). But mostly Swedes have been even slightly more anti-NATO than Finns.