Aland. The ┼land shipping company Birka Line, which made
big losses in the previous year, sold in February the cruise
ship Birka Princess to traffic outside the Baltic Sea. As a
result, 250 employees were laid off.
After a long battle against the EU ban on the sale of
snuff on ┼land-registered vessels, Finland and ┼ lost in the
European Court of Justice in May. Finland had not
implemented the snuff ban on the ┼. However, according to
the EU Commission, the snuff ban must apply throughout
Finland. As a result, ┼land shipping companies fear losing
passengers to Swedish-registered vessels that are authorized
to sell snuff. Later in the year, the ┼land Lagting passed a
new tobacco law, which allowed ┼land vessels to sell snuff
when they are in Swedish waters.
During the year, ┼ ended up in a fierce and prolonged
conflict with Finland over the ┼land Cash Machine
Association's (PAF) gaming business on the Internet.
According to the Helsinki government, it is illegal for PAF
to market itself in the "kingdom", that is, the real
Finland, which has a gaming monopoly. Negotiations in the
case broke down and PAF was notified by the Ministry of the
Interior. In October, President Tarja Halonen commissioned
the ┼land governor to mediate the conflict.