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Oct 20, 2014

Swedish ‘Cold War’ thriller exposes Baltic Sea nerves over Russia

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – It has all the makings of a Cold War thriller — an emergency military deployment with stealth ships and helicopters hunting for a foreign submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Grainy photographs of a mysterious vessel. Sightings of a black-clad man wading in shallow coastal waters.

Whether it was caused by paranoia or a secret naval mission, Sweden’s biggest military mobilization since the Cold War over the last three days has underscored growing concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions in the Baltic Sea region.

Oct 13, 2014

Work on ‘taming’ firms wins Frenchman economics Nobel

STOCKHOLM/PARIS (Reuters) – French economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for economics for work that has shed light on how governments can “tame” the big businesses that dominate once public monopolies like railways, highways and telecommunications.

“This year’s prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms,” Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, told a news conference after awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

Oct 7, 2014

Swedish central banker Ekholm to join government, crown firms

STOCKHOLM, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Dovish Swedish central banker
Karolina Ekholm will leave the Riksbank to join the government
as a state secretary, the central bank said on Tuesday,
confirming a report which helped to send the crown to a 3-1/2
month high against the euro.

Ekholm has been one of the most consistently dovish members
of the Riksbank’s six person rate-setting executive board and
the crown strengthened around 0.2 percent to 9.065 to the euro
on the news of her departure.

Sep 15, 2014

Sweden’s new leader reaches out to foes after shock far-right gains

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s center-left leader began efforts to forge a minority government by reaching out to his defeated center-right foes on Monday, a day after winning an election marked by big gains for an anti-immigrant party that now holds the balance of power.

Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats and two other left-leaning parties garnered more votes than the outgoing center-right Alliance of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Sunday’s election but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

Sep 15, 2014

Fractious politics to test new Swedish leader’s negotiating skills

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – At the height of the global financial crisis trade union leader Stefan Lofven, now set to become Sweden’s prime minister after Sunday’s election, did the unthinkable and cut a deal with employers agreeing pay cuts and shorter hours.

The deal, which some industrialists say helped many Swedish firms survive the crash, underscored the pragmatism and negotiating skills of Lofven, leader of the Social Democrats, who now faces the hard task of managing a minority government.

Sep 15, 2014

Sweden votes for minority left government, far right surges

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven emerged as victor in Sunday’s general election after a voter backlash against tax cuts and trimmed welfare by a centre-right government, but faced challenges forming a strong coalition as he fell short of a parliamentary majority.

The Nordic region’s biggest economy and one of the few star performers in Europe now faces a weak minority government with a possible political impasse as the anti-immigrant far right emerged as the third biggest party to hold the balance of power.

Sep 14, 2014

Sweden centre-left opposition holds lead in election – exit poll

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-left opposition was heading for an election victory on Sunday, an exit poll showed, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, schools and hospitals after eight years of tax cuts under the centre-right Alliance.

The Social Democrats, the largest single party with 31.1 percent in the state broadcaster SVT poll, hope to rule with the Green Party, with 7.1 percent.

Sep 14, 2014

Sweden votes with centre-left opposition holding narrow lead

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Polls showed Sweden’s centre-left opposition heading for a narrow election victory on Sunday, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, healthcare and schools after eight years of tax cuts under the centre-right Alliance.

The Social Democrats, the largest single party and polling around 30 percent, hope to rule with the Green Party. But even if opinion polls are born out, they are likely to rely on winning support from the Left Party and possibly smaller parties in the Alliance to form a government.

Sep 13, 2014

Sweden votes with center-left opposition targeting narrow lead

STOCKHOLM, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Sweden’s s center-left opposition appeared headed for a narrow election victory on Sunday, according to polls, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, healthcare and schools after 8 years of tax cuts.

The Social Democrats, largest single party polling around 30 percent, hope to rule with the Green Party. But even if opinion polls are born out, they are likely to rely on winning support from the Left Party and possibly smaller parties in the current center-right government to form a government.

Sep 13, 2014

Polls show narrow opposition win in Sweden vote

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Final polls a day before Sweden’s general election predicted a narrow victory for the center-left opposition followed by a complex task in building a stable government after Sunday’s vote.

Saturday’s polls gave the Social Democrats, Greens and Left parties a lead of 5.3 and 5.7 percentage points over the ruling center-right government, a much narrower gap than the opposition had enjoyed until recently and short of a majority in the 349-seat parliament.