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Sep 1, 2014

Asylum seekers or welfare? Swedish election breaks immigration taboo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Swedish anti-immigration party is likely to score its best ever general election result this month, as a growing number of voters question the cost of the country’s open door asylum policy.

Opinion polls show that a majority in Sweden, where 16 percent of the population is foreign-born, still backs the liberal regime which over the decades has welcomed refugees from Chile and Yugoslavia to Somalia and Syria.

Aug 31, 2014

New eruption at Iceland volcano prompts highest aviation warning

REYKJAVIK/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A new eruption in Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano system spewed lava more than 50 metres in the air on Sunday prompting authorities to raise their warning of the risk of ash to aviation to the highest level on Sunday.

Iceland’s largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.

Aug 31, 2014

New fissure eruption at Iceland volcano prompts highest aviation warning

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A small new fissure eruption in an ice-free area of Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano system prompted authorities to raise their warning of the risk of ash to aviation to the highest level on Sunday.

Iceland’s largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.

Aug 29, 2014

Iceland lowers volcano alert, says small eruption no threat to aviation

REYKJAVIK/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Iceland reduced its aviation warning level to orange on Friday after concluding that a small eruption in the Bardarbunga volcano system that triggered a hours-long red alert actually posed no threat to aircraft.

No sign of ash like that from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption that shut much of Europe’s air space in 2010 has been detected this time. But the Icelandic Metrological Office said a no-fly zone in a radius of 3 nautical miles just above the Bardarbunga volcano in central Iceland would remain in effect.

Aug 29, 2014

Iceland volcano alert at red after small eruption, no ash detected

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Iceland raised its alert warning level to maximum on Friday after what it called a small eruption in the Bardarbunga volcano system but said there was no sign of ash that could affect air travel in Europe.

In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe’s air space for six days.

Aug 23, 2014

Swedish government cuts growth forecast, says to raise more taxes if re-elected

HARPSUND Sweden (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-right government on Saturday delivered a gloomy message to voters ahead of a Sept. 14 general election, cutting its growth forecast due to lingering weakness in the global economy and saying it will raise taxes further if re-elected.

Sweden’s economy contracted slightly in the first quarter and barely grew in the April-June period as its key export sector was hurt by sluggish overseas demand, particularly from Europe.

Aug 20, 2014

Sweden warns of rising immigration costs as election nears

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will not “shut the door” on record numbers of asylum seekers but they pose a growing financial burden, the country’s finance minister said, in comments that underscore voters’ concerns on immigration ahead of next month’s general election.

Open debate about the fiscal costs of immigration is new among liberal Sweden’s mainstream political parties, but opinion polls show support for the Sweden Democrats, who want to sharply cut the number of asylum seekers, has risen to 10 percent.

Jul 16, 2014

Swedish central bank sees room for new rate cut if inflation lags-minutes

STOCKHOLM, July 16 (Reuters) – sThe majority of Swedish
rate-setters are firmly focused on weak inflation, leaving room
for another rate cut if prices fail to rise as expected, minutes
of the most recent policy meeting showed on Wednesday.

The Swedish economy bounced back quicker than the rest of
Europe after the financial crisis, but sluggish demand abroad
and a strengthening currency have held back growth, and prices
have stood still for much of the last year.

Jun 10, 2014

Rebuffing Cameron, Merkel sticks to Juncker for top EU job

HARPSUND Sweden (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her support on Tuesday for Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the next president of the European Commission after meeting EU leaders critical of the Luxembourger.

Merkel made her statement after talks in Sweden hosted by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and also attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Dutch premier Mark Rutte.

May 27, 2014

Iceland says defunct banks could be made bankrupt unless creditors take haircut

STOCKHOLM, May 27 (Reuters) – Iceland’s defunct banks could
be put into bankruptcy if creditors do not agree to a haircut on
debts owed by Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki, which collapsed
in 2008 owing more than $75 billion, the finance minister warned
on Tuesday.

Iceland slapped on capital controls after the financial
meltdown, hampering much needed investment, but these cannot be
removed until a deal to wind up the left-overs of the old banks
- around 2,500 billion krona ($22 billion) in cash, shares and
bonds – is reached with creditors.