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The story of a mayor of a small Finnish town about the opportunities Hanhikivi NPP will create for the locals

Matti Soronen is the mayor of the small municipality of Pyhäjoki in Northern Finland. Over the past 20 years, the population of Pyhäjoki has almost halved due to the outflow of residents to large cities with better job opportunities and a comfortable life. Matti does everything to keep the city afloat and create good conditions for local residents. He hopes that the Hanhikivi-1 NPP, which will be built near Pyhäjoki, will give a boost to the development of the municipality and help make this place comfortable to live and work.

My name is Matti Soronen, I live in Pyhäjoki and want my municipality to become the best place in Northern Finland for people to live and work.

I was born in Taivalkoski, North-East Finland, but since then I have been living in Pyhäjoki for over 10 years. Pyhäjoki is a beautiful place located on the shores of the Bothnian Bay. It is very picturesque with the sea, rivers and forests. I am sure that anyone, having visited this place once, will want to come back.

In 2010, I was invited to become the mayor of Pyhäjoki. Since then, I have served the local community while living here with my family.

This place has become my home. The development of the region is my top priority.

As the mayor of a small town, I have to solve a variety of tasks related to the daily affairs of the municipality. I arrive at the office at around 8:30 am, where work responsibilities change depending on strategic and operational objectives. The best reward is the achievement of the set goals and the satisfied members of the municipality. My family also lives here, which gives me an additional incentive to do my best.

Our community has about 3,100 residents. We can say that we all know each other here personally. Unfortunately, the population of the community has declined significantly over the past decades. Urbanization, the departure from small towns to large ones is a problem for any mayor, and I do my best to make our municipality as good as possible.

Pyhäjoki was selected as the site for the Hanhikivi-1 NPP. This is a very large project.

We hope that the nuclear power plant will allow us to gain a completely new pace of development, and happiness is just around the corner.

This project will give our municipality a unique chance. The Hanhikivi-1 NPP will bring us additional funds for the construction of schools, kindergartens and nursing homes, as well as create new jobs. Moreover, this is an important project for the whole country. Finland needs electricity. More will be needed soon.

Pyhäjoki has a promising future. I am sure that many colleagues would be happy to change places with me, because we are on the verge of a new round of development here.

The Hanhikivi-1 NPP is an international project. It will attract people of a wide variety of nationalities from a wide variety of countries. I can already see how our municipality is becoming international. I am sure that many who grew up here and then left will want to return because Hanhikivi will create many new jobs and career opportunities.

The younger generation no longer thinks about leaving necessarily; they see the community differently already. I will be happy if my children also want to stay in Pyhäjoki, because they will know that this is the best place to live on Earth.

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