Some Finnish farmers are using high-interest payday loans to cover their expenses, reports Maaseudun Tulevaisuus. The newspaper writes that farmers who are no longer eligible for traditional bank loans due to their inability to provide collateral are increasingly turning to quick loans to pay for everything from child care to interest on other loans.
“It’s absolutely horrible. We get new cases every week,” says Osmo Auto of the Wikli group specializing in the financial administration of agricultural enterprises. According to him, a farmer had taken out dozens of quick loans for a total amount of 40,000 euros. “In the end, he didn’t even remember where he had borrowed the money from.”
Autio said that farmers who take out bad loans to pay for their daily expenses are a new trend. “I discovered this phenomenon for the first time in the spring.
Some farmers don’t know how to deal with collection agencies, which has in part led to an increase in high-interest loans, writes MT.
“Negotiating with a collection agency and combining all debts and invoices into one payment makes sense, as it becomes cheaper to maintain them,” explains Maija Kakriainen of the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).
Kakriainen asked MTK to set up its own collection agency, which would buy out debts from struggling farmers. “The repayment terms for these loans would be less harsh than in traditional collection agencies,” Kakriainen said.
The financial situation of many Finnish farmers has worsened in recent years due to EU export sanctions against Russia, the Russian system of counter-sanctions, falling farm gate prices and poor harvests. .
5,000 euros on taxis
Antti Rinne, president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), declined to comment on the 5,000 euros that the children’s ombudsman Tuomas kurttila spent on taxis in the last three months, Ilta-Sanomat writes. Kurttila is running for parliament as the SDP candidate in next year’s general election.
“I don’t know how he works or manages his time. However, when an MP or a public servant spends taxpayer money on such matters, it is important to play by the rules,” Rinne said. SDP Party Secretary Antton Rönnholm had conversations with Kurttila about it, Rinne added.
Kurttila was criticized last week after Uutissuomalainen reported that he spent 5,170 euros on taxi rides between September and November. For example, he had spent 600 euros in a taxi to get from Oulu to Jyväskylä – a distance of 340 km.
Kurttila said his frequent use of taxis was based on concerns about saving time, well-being at work and the conversations he has with taxi drivers.
The Children’s Ombudsman monitors the well-being of Finnish children and young people and tries to influence politicians to make decisions that benefit children.
The number of churches in decline
Meanwhile, daily Karjalainen reports that the membership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland continues to drop dramatically. According to preliminary Church figures, membership numbers fell by about 47,000 people during this year.
According to Karjalainen, the reasons for the drastic drop are twofold. First, more people leave the religious community than join it. Second, the number of church members who die exceeds the number who have been baptized into the faith.
In total, 70 percent of the Finnish population belong to the Lutheran Church, a significant drop from 2000, when 85 percent of people were members.
Alongside the Finnish Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Church has a legal position as a National Church and the right to levy tax on its members.