PM Kiviniemi criticises Helsinki’s snow removal operations on CNN programme
First episode of CNN’s "Future Cities" series to be aired tonight
Finland’s Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi (Centre Party) has criticised the City of Helsinki’s ability to deal with this winter’s snow problems in an interview with the American news network CNN.
In an episode of a programme called Future Cities to be aired later today, Kiviniemi is reportedly saying that her home town's performance in winter maintenance could have been better.
The Prime Minister’s criticisms are responded to by Deputy Mayor Pekka Sauri: “The only way to avoid all the problems would be to build a roof over the entire city”, is Sauri’s blunt retort.
CNN spent 11 days filming the Future Cities programme in Helsinki in January. The series is fronted by British presenter Richard Quest, and is part of the Quest Means Business programme slot.
In all, the series will include four inserts from Helsinki. Helsingin Sanomat had a chance to view the first one beforehand.
The six-minute report explains how Helsinki’s snow-ploughing operations are carried out with military precision.
Quest visits for example the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport as well as a snow dumping area, where a lorry-load of snow is being dumped once every ten seconds.
Apart from Kiviniemi and Sauri, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (Nat. Coalition) and Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen are also interviewed in the programme.
Kovalainen gives Quest a demonstration of his skills on a practice track in the southern town of Porvoo.
Stubb, in turn, speaks of making provisions against climate change.
In the interview, Stubb makes it clear that everyone should be prepared for the worst, and that the worst cannot be just a five-centimetre layer of snow. With his remark, Stubb refers to the Christmastime mayhem at the airports in Western Europe.
According to the advance information, the next Future Cities segments that have been filmed in Helsinki deal with the Finns’ battle against the period of winter darkness, the underground Helsinki, and the changing urban structure of the capital area.
The episodes containing these reports will be aired on Mondays in February-March.
Future Cities will air on CNN at 21:00 local time tonight.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Heads up! Melting and falling snow makes Helsinki dangerous (11.1.2011)
Snow clearance from roofs sends people to hospitals (10.1.2011)
Snow costing Helsinki EUR 30 million (31.12.2010)
Snow removal can be a wild wild business (25.1.2011)
Obligation to prevent snow accidents belongs to property owners, real estate managers, janitors...(18.1.2011)
CNN - Quest Means Business: Future Cities