Only Finnish newspaper in Sweden goes bankrupt

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Apr 16 13:55:33 UTC 2005


               The only Finnish daily newspaper in Sweden goes bankrupt

               Stockholm 4/14/2005 , by Paula Tapiola

               Swedens only Finnish daily newspaper Ruotsin Sanomat has
gone bankrupt. The last issue of the paper was published yesterday. The
owner and editor-in-chief Mr Jukka Tuurala blames the Finnish-speaking
readers. The paper had no more than 3000 subscribers despite there being
approximately half a million Swedish Finns living in Sweden.

               I have often been close to losing my faith in the
Finnish-speaking minority in Sweden. I have thought that since Swedish
Finns do not subscribe our paper, they are actually saying they do not
want to enhance the Finnish language in Sweden, says Jukka Tuurala to

               I do not regret having started the paper but I am
               bitter. If the Swedish Finns can not support one daily
paper, I have a hard time seeing a future for this minority. He added.
The Swedish Finns were acknowledged by the Swedish government as a
national minority in April 2000. Most of the Swedish Finns emigrated to
Sweden during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They were considered by the
government as foreign workers on a temporary visit. As the visits grew
longer and longer, the minority asked for Finnish language day care,
education and elderly care.  The loss of the Finnish daily newspaper will
be felt among this young minority.

               The bankruptcy of Ruotsin Sanomat became
               known last Thursday but the owner Jukka Tuurala then
assured he had a new publisher for the paper. The parties were negotiating
the details of the deal until the potential publisher still wishing to
remain anonymous - suddenly withdrew himself from the purchase yesterday.
According to Tuurala, there were two other potential invsestors as well,
but negotiations with both of them fell through.

               A bitter Tuurala now claims he would not have
               filed a bankruptcy petition if he had not been sure the
speculator would take over. Instead of introducing a new owner, Tuurala
was today forced to inform his staff of their notice. A total of 25 people
are effected, with the loss of 16 full time jobs vanish.  The
administrators of the bankruptcy estate say they are still working to find
a solution that would secure some kind of a future for the paper. The
paper remains on sale and the sale will be advertised in other newspapers.
The administrators aim to find a solution by the end of April.

               Jukka Tuurala has little faith they will succeed. I hope,
of course, there is a future for the paper. It would be necessary for this
minority. But I cannot comment whether it is possible to find a buyer. As
far as I am concerned, I have done everything in my power to find a new
publisher.  Ruotsin Sanomat has been published five-days-a-week since
September 2003 by the company Tidnings AB Viikkoviesti. The debts of the
company are, according to Tuurala, under ten million Swedish crowns
(1,089,706 euro). Most of the companies debts date to years prior the
founding of the daily paper. Tidnings AB Viikkoviesti also used to publish
a weekly in Finnish. (Eurolang 2005)

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