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Apr 10, 2015

Swedes face higher taxes but centre left too weak to reverse years of market reforms

STOCKHOLM, April 10 (Reuters) – Swedes face tax rises in
this month’s budget, but the coalition’s fragile hold on power
will limit scope for a more radical shift to the left and the
potential unravelling of years of market-oriented reforms.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in his election campaign last
year pledged sweeping change after eight years of income tax
cuts that were widely seen as undermining the country’s welfare
safety net.

Mar 22, 2015

Sweden risks property bubble as currency war intensifies

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Having twice cut rates into negative territory, Sweden’s central bank is locked in a high-stakes currency war with the European Central Bank that could stave off deflation but risks creating another property bubble.

The Riksbank is worried that a strengthening crown, fueled in part by ECB bond-buying, will reverse a recent upturn in consumer prices and raise the specter of deflationary damage to Sweden’s fast-growing AAA economy.

Mar 13, 2015

After years of stalemate, Sweden seeks London date with Assange

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish prosecutors want to question Julian Assange in London over allegations of sexual assault, potentially ending an impasse that left the WikiLeaks founder holed up for almost three years in Ecuador’s embassy.

Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they had asked for Assange’s approval to question him in London, a U-turn after years of insisting he must go to Stockholm for questioning about alleged assaults against two women in 2010.

Mar 9, 2015

Human rights or business? Saudi defense accord sparks storm in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The fate of a defense cooperation accord with Saudi Arabia has triggered a dispute between Swedish business, including powerful arms exporters, and the country’s new center-left government which favors a foreign policy focused on human rights.

Despite its traditional neutrality – it is not a member of NATO – Sweden is the world’s 12th biggest arms exporter and has a renewable five-year accord with Saudi Arabia to cooperate on military systems, training and transfers of technology.

Feb 12, 2015

Sweden adopts negative rates, bond purchases to fight deflation threat

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden shocked markets on Thursday by introducing negative interest rates, launching bond purchases and saying it could take further steps to battle falling prices.

The central bank joins a list of those including the European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, to resort to unconventional monetary policy steps to confront an unusual combination of economic problems.

Feb 12, 2015

Sweden’s cuts key rate to negative, launches QE

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Swedish central bank shocked markets on Thursday by cutting its key interest rate into negative territory, launching bond purchases and saying it stood ready to take further measures at short notice as it battled the threat of deflation.

Negative rates take Sweden into a select club of countries which have experimented with a measure that was rejected by many economists as unfeasible until the financial crisis.

Feb 10, 2015

Finland’s Solidium adds more shares to TeliaSonera sale – source

STOCKHOLM, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Finland’s state investment arm
Solidium has raised the number of shares it is selling in
Swedish telecoms group TeliaSonera to 200 million from
175 million, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday Solidium had said it would sell 175
million shares, representing a 4 percent stake.

Jan 28, 2015

Sweden’s unconventional monetary policy would be no bazooka

STOCKHOLM, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Sweden’s central bank may be
the next to adopt unconventional policies to fight falling
prices, but it is unlikely to match the impact of others as the
bond market is small, yields are low and banks are already flush
with cash.

The European Central Bank said last week it would pump
billions of new money into the financial system through
sovereign bond purchases, part of a plan to launch a “big
bazooka” to revive the economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve and
Bank of England have taken similar steps.

Jan 21, 2015

Teenager says he escaped N.Korea and made it to Sweden, claims asylum

STOCKHOLM/SEOUL (Reuters) – A 17-year-old who says he is a street child from North Korea is seeking refugee status in Sweden, maintaining he walked across a frozen river into China and traversed two continents in cars, the trans-Siberian railway and the back of a truck.

But he offers no evidence to back his claims and Swedish authorities suspect he may be Chinese.

Dec 30, 2014

Swedish compromise politics risks pushing voters to far right

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A deal between Sweden’s mainstream political parties aimed at neutralizing the far-right and avoiding a snap election could backfire by legitimizing the nationalist Sweden Democrats as the main opposition and focusing debate on immigration.

Last week’s unprecedented accord between the center-left and center-right cements their hold on power by making it easier for minority governments to pass a budget.