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Some merry red of Christmas on the gray horizon

By 13.12.2023No Comments

Christmas really won’t come too early this year. That is not to say that the early commercialism of Christmas has somehow started to get on my nerves more than before. No, I mean the general situation both here and abroad. The war in Ukraine, Gaza, security threats in Europe and Finland, the prolonged process of Sweden’s NATO membership, climate change, economic recession, allowance cuts – there is plenty to worry about.

I hope it’s not just my wishful thinking that last year the list wasn’t quite as heavy and long.

The cuts to allowances and financial aid were mentioned, so a few words on the matter.

First of all, it should be stated that considering the big picture, it’s not impossible to understand the need for savings in the state economy; that’s how drastic the budget deficits have been year after year without any light at the end of the tunnel.

Increasing ARA’s (the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland) housing construction and basic apartment renovations has been seen during previous recessions – and Finland is heading for one right now – as a useful counter-cyclical measure that smooths out the cyclical dips in the construction industry and the economy and secures a part of the tax revenue. Now, to the contrary, the previous levels aimed at student housing are also being cut, and this affects the future prospects of TYS and student housing operators.

Housing allowance for TYS customers – the students – will also be cut.

So, while the outlook is grim and gray, let’s try to add some Christmas red to it, and at the same time put things into perspective and scale. Many things are still going well for us, some even better than before. We could learn a thing or two from the refreshing way of thinking of Esko Valtaoja, professor emeritus and alumnus of the University of Turku: globally and nationally, in light of statistics and facts, a great many things are better than ever in the scale of, say, a hundred years.

There is still a lot to be done so that the development can continue in that better-than-ever vein.

With these thoughts, I thought I would try to get ready for Christmas, which seems to come at just the right time after all.

A big and sincere thank you to TYS and all TYS workers, TYS partners, and our tenants for the past year! We support our partner, the Finnish Red Cross, in helping Ukraine.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Risto Siilos




Risto Siilos