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Finnish report Finnish report
by Euro Reporter
2011-09-25 10:34:01
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Finland Keen to Expand Ties with Iran

Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Sakari Tuomioja voiced his country's willingness to boost ties and cooperation with Iran in different fields. The issue was raised by the Finnish Foreign Minister in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in New York and on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

"We are living in a common world economically and ecologically and therefore, we should move towards common goals hand in hand and through joint efforts," Tuomioja stated. "We need friendship and cooperation."

Salehi, too, pointed to the history of the close ties between Iran and Finland, and voiced Tehran's preparedness to boost mutual cooperation with Helsinki. The two sides also underlined the need for preparing proper grounds for the further expansion of mutual cooperation.


Surrogate motherhood may be permitted in Finland

The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics (ETENE) says that the use of surrogate mothers to help childless couples could be legalised in Finland if childlessness is caused by a severe condition such as a missing uterus. Eleven years ago ETENE took a negative view on surrogacy. The board discussed the matter again at its meeting on Thursday. The Ministry of Justice asked the committee for a statement in the spring, and that statement is nearly complete.

“From the ethical point of view the use of a surrogate mother could be possible in carefully considered situations, if a woman has lost her uterus because of a disease or accident, or if it was missing from birth”, says ETENE’s secretary-general Päivi Topo. The present law on fertility treatment bans all studies and treatments aimed at surrogate motherhood. “The times have changed. In a carefully considered situation, this type of possibility to get children could be allowed”, Topo says. She also says that the matter was the topic of a very intense debate within ETENE.

The Ministry of Justice asked the board last spring to issue a statement on the issue after Tuija Brax (Green), the Minister of Justice at the time, received a petition on the matter. The board plans to submit its final statement on the matter to the Ministry of Justice next week. In the statement, it will recommend that the ministry should continue to work on the matter, and acquaint itself closely with related issues. “There are many difficult questions linked with this. The starting point is that the rights and interests of the child should be protected in all situations. Naturally the matter should also be viewed from the point of view of the surrogate mother and the family”, Topo emphasises. Because of the current legislation, many Finnish childless couples will seek surrogacy services abroad. Countries that allow surrogate motherhood include Russia, India, and the United States.


Finland extends detention of 2 terror suspects

A regional court has extended the detention of two people arrested earlier this month on suspicion of financing terrorism and terror recruitment.

The Helsinki District Court ruled Friday that police may hold the suspects - a 34-year-old man and 28 year-old-woman - for another two weeks while police investigate the case. The court gave no other details.

Last week, intelligence officials said they detained the suspects on Sept. 7 after a sting operation in the Helsinki region, in what are this Nordic country's first terror-linked arrests. Police said they also confiscated data and other material evidence in the raids.

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