Finland has a 1300 km long land border with Russia, it fought two wars in the 1940s to defend then reclaim lost territory, and is now applying to join NATO.
There, most knowledge of Finland ends.
Which is a shame.
Because a staple of Finnish life could offer a permanent solution to supply crises in Britain – if we could learn to rely on cooperatives not corporations to deliver.
The picture shows composite wooden hand-basins and baths – a unique feature of the Solo Sokos Hotel in Lahti- part of a larger S-Group cooperative with more than 3 million members. How can such a massive coop give its local hotel managers freedom to make their own decisions? Lesley Riddoch went to Finland’s seventh largest city to find out.
With thanks to Risto Turanen, Kari Huhtala, VisitFinland, Finnair and Sokos Hotels.