Aland. Archaeologists found remains during the year that are believed to have been a Viking hall from the younger Iron Age, 40 meters long and 12 meters wide. In the area were also made of jewelry from the 500s to the 1000s, that is, at the end of the Viking Age. The well-preserved jewelery in bronze and silver may indicate that Åland had a Viking elite and thus a more important position during the Viking era than researchers previously believed. The finds in Saltvik in Åland are compared by archaeologists with those made in Birka at Lake Mälaren in Sweden. No equivalent is known in the rest of Finland.
An Åland political delegation visited Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö in August and discussed language politics, among other things. The Speaker of the Lagting emphasized the importance of safeguarding the Swedish language, as it is the basis of the Åland landscape’s autonomy.
During the year, media reported that the Russian president owns an undeveloped beach site in Åland. Since the end of World War II, the Russian Federation has owned properties in Åland, and in 2010 some were transferred to the President’s Office at the request of the Russian Consul. Thus, Vladimir Putin is the owner of 1.7 hectares of Norrgård’s homestead in Saltvik, northeastern Åland, with a beach strip of 200 meters. As far as is known, Putin has not visited his beach, and it is unclear if he has building plans there.
Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for the health care unit were stranded during the fall, and in November hundreds of care workers went on strike demanding higher salaries. Large parts of the health care system stopped for a few weeks before a settlement was reached in December.