Finland Country Report
The centre-right ruling coalition will work on structural reforms in the healthcare sector and local administration. New spending cuts currently seem unlikely and would remain so until the scheduled April 2019 parliamentary election. The overall risk of industrial action and peaceful protests triggered by disputes between trade unions and employers is relatively high. Trade unions have the potential to initiate large strikes, causing disruption for days. The government's pro-business efforts are likely to continue. The planned state-ownership reforms would offer partial privatisation opportunities in various sectors; however hurdles and structural deficiencies would most probably compromise the government's plan to incentivise the private investment needed for sustainable growth. IHSMarkit's 2018 GDP growth projection remains at 2.6% and the 2019 forecast at 2.1%.
Private investment is welcomed. Partial privatisation of several state-owned companies is likely to depend on the next government after the March–April 2019 parliamentary election. Certain key companies and sectors are considered strategic and therefore sensitive in terms of foreign investment, in particular the energy sector, and investment from Russia. The workforce is well educated, infrastructure is well developed, and corruption risks are low. A June 2016 agreement reached between trade unions and employers' organisations reduced companies' labour costs and increased competitiveness. Privatisations will increase the risk of sectoral strikes. Industrial action can result in cargo disruption or disruption to normal business activities. The corruption risk is low.
Low-capability jihadist terrorist attacks with knives are as likely as shooting or vehicle attacks, as indicated by the August 2017 knife assault in central Turku conducted by a Moroccan citizen. According to the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, there is a homegrown radical Islamists network in Finland and approximately 370 people are potentially connected to terrorist activities, whereas the country features more prominently in radical Islamist propaganda. The increased jihadist threat is likely to lead to increased far-right extremists attacks targeting government or religious assets and refugee shelters. Animal-rights activists are likely to use aggressive tactics against fur businesses or animal-processing industries.
The fallout between the EU and Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine has led to closer military co-operation with Sweden and NATO, increasing the risk of Finnish involvement in the unlikely event of a direct Russia-NATO confrontation. Airspace and naval border incursions by Russian military aircraft are likely to continue. Finland is likely to abide by its plans to increase its defence spending over the next several years. Any moves towards NATO membership will likely be subject to a referendum and conducted jointly with Sweden. Finland is unlikely to join the alliance in the three-year outlook.
Far-right protests are more likely after the August 2017 Turku knife attack, risking low-level violence between demonstrators and anti-racism protesters, specifically in larger cities including Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku. Far-right movements are especially active during national commemoration days, such as the Independence Day. With the majority of employees unionised, protests and labour strikes occur frequently in reaction to potential job losses or disagreements over working conditions and wages. Workers' protests and sectorial labour strikes remain likely.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis B : a vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio : a booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Finland has a subarctic climate. Springs and summers are short. Winters last for some five months in the south and some seven months in Lapland (north). Temperatures are pleasant beginning in June and cool weather returns mid-August. Important fluctuations in temperatures are often observed over the course of a single day, even in summer. In the north of the country, daylight is near-constant for almost three months.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz