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Friday, December 30, 2016

Changes in Sweden – Coming in 2017

Taken from:     29 December 2016

Photo: Per Wahlberg/TT

Internationals will be more likely to be out of work

In a less positive development if you’re an immigrant like many people at The Local, the coming year is set to see foreign-born residents make up 60 percent of unemployed in Sweden, while the jobless rate for Swedes sinks at the same time.
The figures come from Sweden’s Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in their labour market forecast, which shows that while unemployment among Swedish-born citizens aged between 16 and 64 will soon drop from 7.5 percent to around 6.6 percent, for foreigners, it’s expected to increase.
So while currently around 50 percent of unemployed people in Sweden are originally from abroad, they will soon make up the majority, as the number hits 60 percent in 2017. It’s thought the rise is linked to rising migration.
Gee, you think?

The process of bringing back conscription could begin
Readers born between 1999 and 2000 may want to pay attention to this one. Earlier this year a Swedish government inquiry recommended that compulsory military service should be reintroduced in the country in an effort to plug gaps in the Armed Forces.
The proposal, released on September 28th, has been put out to a four-month consultation process, and if it goes ahead, young men and women will be asked to complete questionnaires for future recruitment to the Armed Forces from July 1st 2017 onwards.

Those selected from the questionnaire data would then be obliged to complete basic military training from January 1st, 2018. It is estimated that 4000 newly trained soldiers will be needed that year, and the number of people called to obligatory service will depend on the volume of standard recruits available.
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Self-driving cars will appear in Gothenburg

It sounds like something from science fiction, but self-driving cars are genuinely planned to be on the streets of Gothenburg at some point next year. Swedish car maker Volvo has been testing them in the city since 2014, and aims to roll the first 100 out to consumers both in the western Swedish city and in London in 2017.
“How will you use the extra time you’ll have when your car starts to drive itself? Relax with a newspaper? Meet those last-minute deadlines?” asks Volvo on its website. “Worrying about being in a self-driving car,” sounds more likely, at least initially.
The idea is that they will be safer than the current generation of standard, human-driven cars, and with scrutiny likely to be high in the early stages, we’ll certainly find out sooner rather than later. Something tells us the self-parking capacity will prove popular.

The Nobel Literature Laureate will finally make an appearance

Putting a certain US President-elect to one side, Bob Dylan may just be the most divisive American figure for Swedes in 2016. The songwriter became the first musician ever to win a Nobel Literature Prize earlier this year, and promptly responded by, well, not really responding at all, holding his tongue for weeks and making it difficult for the Swedish Academy which awards the prize to get in touch with him.

The elusive Dylan eventually formally accepted the prize a fortnight after it was announced, but when he subsequently explained that he would not come to the traditional December Nobel Banquet to accept it, critics of his reluctant response to the award only had more fuel for their fire.
Swedes will finally get to see their latest literature laureate in 2017 however, as he is booked for a set of concerts at the Stockholm waterfront venue on April 1st and 2nd, before playing Lund’s Sparbankens Skåne Arena on April 9th.

Whether he will also give his Nobel lecture during that period remains to be seen. The talk is a requirement for winners of the prize, and must be given within six months of it being awarded.

Photo: David Vincent/AP

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