Hide From Children! Santa Faces Bankruptcy

Open Jaw

It makes for a great click-bait headline: Santa Claus Is Going Broke!


And it’s true that a major attraction in Finland’s town of Rovaniemi, located close to the Arctic Circle, risks becoming the latest victim of the European economic crisis.


Finland’s Santa Claus Office, which received 300,000 visitors last year – many of them children hoping to meet Santa and plead good behaviour -- faces bankruptcy as it struggles to repay $290,000 of debt.


But before the kids start crying, the Finnish tourist board would like to point out that Santa Claus Office is just one of Rovaniemi’s tributes to the man in red. There are several Santa-themed businesses in the town and they’re open for business. As is Santa Claus Office, at least for now.


"Though there is uncertainty regarding Dianordia, the specific company that runs the Santa Claus Office, the Santa Claus Village (where Santa is actually based) is not under threat in any way,” Visit Finland said in a statement.


But it’s clear. Even Santa has been hit by the double blow of the European economic crisis coupled with the Ukraine crisis. Falling numbers of visitors from Greece, Spain and Italy was the first hit, now Russians are staying away.


The Santa Claus Office has less than a week to come up with the money and an online campaign has been launched to keep it afloat. The page has been deluged by offers of support.


In an accompanying video, Santa Claus acknowledges his ‘office’ has “faced some trouble recently”, but says he is confident a solution will be found.


A message on the company’s website reads: “Santa is here, every day, like he has been for the last two decades, meeting friends and visitors from all around the world. We are a small family company, and times are not easy in global economy for us either, but we keep working for the spirit of Christmas.” 

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