Monday’s papers: Children in Syria camps, more education and stagflation worries | News | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european

Finland’s Foreign Minister says the remaining Finnish children detained in the Al-Hol camp need their mothers’ permission to leave.

Finland’s higher-education level has dropped below the OECD average.  Image: Ari Haimakainen / Yle

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) told Maaseudun tulevaisuus (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that bringing back the remaining Finnish mothers and children in Syria’s Al-Hol would require the use of force, noting that the camp is militarised.

“It’s not possible to extract children without their parents’ consent within the autonomous regions of a foreign state,” he told the agricultural newspaper.

This month the UN Child Rights Committee (CRC) issued a severe reprimand to Finland for failing to repatriate the Finnish children still living in the camp. 

Haavisto told MT that 26 children have returned to Finland from the camp and that it’s up to the remaining families if they want to return.

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Schooling Finland

This month news emerged that Finland’s higher-education level has slipped below the OECD average. 

Reacting to this trend, Environment Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) is calling for Finland to create room for 5,400 additional more tertiary students every year over the next decade. Spots should especially be allocated to the fields of healthcare, early childhood education and ICT, according to Ohisalo, who also serves as Green Party chair.

At the turn of the millennium, Finland boasted one of the OECD’s highest share of highly educated young adults, on a par with the United States and South Korea. Last year it fell clearly below the OECD average to the level of Chile and Turkey. 

“There’s a worry we may have overestimated our education levels,” she told Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun)

More rate hikes

The European Central Bank raised interest rates again last Thursday. With euro area inflation around ten percent, Kauppalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) asked Bank of Finland governor Olli Rehn whether the ECB will continue to raise borrowing costs. 

“It’s to be expected that we’ll continue to raise rates this year,” Rehn, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, told the business daily. 

Rehn also noted that there was a risk of eurozone stagflation — that is — slow growth and high unemployment rate accompanied by inflation. “We’re seeing the first stages of stagflation. Economic growth has weakened and next year’s inflation is still expected to be around five percent, so this is two out of three.”

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