It is significantly safer in New York than it was twenty years ago and one of the most important reasons is an initiative called Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). A Swedish think tank is now trying to spread knowledge about the American success story.
Magnus Lindgren, criminologist and secretary general for the think tank, Tryggare Sverige, believes the debate in Sweden has become entrenched. “The debate is almost only about the need for more police, criminal gangs in deprived areas and jihadists. Sometimes you need to reach a new low watermark before people start thinking in new ways,” he tells DI.
To mimic New York, Swedish authorities need to put more energy into creating attractive physical environments and addressing “life quality crimes” such as vandalism.
Justice Minister Morgan Johansson (S) believes BIDs could be a good method for improving crime prevention, although says efforts need to be adapted to local conditions.
Sweden’s pharmaceutical industry has made a huge comeback since Pharmacia was sold and Astra Zeneca closed its research in Södertälje. Now, more individually-adapted biological pharmaceuticals are growing on a broad front and many are talking about a Nordic Silicon Valley.
Sweden currently has several major Life Science clusters, with a total of 40,000 employees. Head of production for Astra Zeneca Biologics, Robert Malmberg, says, “The fact is that Astra Zeneca has invested in rough figures ten billion kronor in Sweden in the past ten years.”
Chinese citizens in Sweden could, according to Chinese law, be forced to hand over sensitive information if the regime demands so. This is the assessment of several security services and an expert SvD has spoken to. Huawei in Sweden has hit back however, saying the law has been interpreted incorrectly.
Huawei’s CEO in Sweden, Kenneth Fredriksen, says, “I do not really want to comment on what the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) is saying, but I can say that we, as a company, follow local rules and laws in Sweden 100 per cent. No failings in our products have ever been documented and it is not going to happen.” He also questions why SÄPO makes a different interpretation to the world’s largest law firm.
The Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has recently been accused of misjudging the risks of money laundering in the big Swedish banks’ Baltic operations. Now the European Commission’s director general for justice and consumers, Tiina Astola has signed a letter from the Commission to Sweden’s EU ambassador Lars Danielsson.
“Allegations about failings in Swedbank’s processes and methods for preventing money laundering have been backed up by public excerpts from an internal report from the bank,” it says. The Commission is aware that the FSA has launched an investigation but it wants more information about the FSA’s actions, “so that we can check whether it carried out an effective regulation of Swedbank in accordance with the requirements in the EU directive 2015/849”.
The Ministry of Finance has replied that the Swedish government takes “money laundering very seriously”.
Tour operator Thomas Cook has reportedly received a takeover approach for its Nordic operations – Thomas Cook Northern Europe - from private equity group Triton.
Triton, which acquired online tour operator Sunweb in December last year, is now prepared to expand, reports Sky News.
The offer is said to be worth “several hundred million pounds” and would give Thomas Cook, which has been struggling in recent days, a boost.
The tour operator has a market leading position in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, via its Ving, Tjäreborg and Spies subsidies.
Scandinavian airline SAS has signed an agreement with Airbus to research eco-system and infrastructure requirements for hybrid and electric aircraft.
The joint research project is intended to build a collective knowledge of “opportunities and challenges” associated with electric and hybrid power.
One challenge will be to store sufficient electricity so that aircraft can carry up to 100 passengers, according to SAS CEO Rickard Gustafsson.
Initially, the project will run from June 2019 through to the end of 2020. Tests will be conducted in Stockholm and Toulouse, where Airbus has its base.
Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson has reacted to warnings about Sweden’s electricity supply and the industry’s demands for political action.
“With its irresponsible policy and actions, the government is on the brink of pushing Sweden into an acute electricity crisis. The energy minister and the government must now understand the seriousness of the situation and take action,” he has said.
He indicates that growth, jobs and climate goals are at stake and Sweden is heading towards electricity rationing, unless politicians take swift action
Following US President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in communications technology last week, Google, which owns the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, has announced that it will no longer share Android technology with Huawei.
Specifically, this means that Huawei’s smartphones will be cut off from future Android operating system updates and will no longer have access to apps such as Google Play and Gmail.
Kenneth Fredriksen, CEO of Huawei Sweden, describes the move as “a dramatic escalation of the trade war” between the US and China, but is convinced that a solution will be found. “There are two parts to this. One is our infrastructure business, where we will be able to maintain deliveries. As for the Android system, both we and Google are looking at what this will mean. Google has pointed out that existing customers with Huawei phones, and phones that are in stock, will not be affected. There are no grounds for current customers to be concerned, that is perhaps the most important thing to convey,” he says.
Fredriksen tells the Dagens Industri newspaper that Huawei is also working on a Plan B, in case it is permanently cut off from the Android system.
Energy company E.On has said it will discontinue electricity production at its Heleneholm district heating plant in Malmö as of 1 August, if the government hikes carbon taxes, and has warned that there is likely to be a power shortage in southern Skåne.
Utility Göteborg Energi says it will have to reduce capacity at its Rya district heating plant unless the plans to raise the taxes are shelved, accusing the government of threatening the power supply.
Energy Minister Anders Ygeman has dismissed the criticism, arguing that the government must scrap the fossil fuel subsidy in order to tackle the green shift. The tax increases will be implemented, despite the warnings of power shortages in major cities, he claims.
New statistics show that the mobile is becoming more important for growing e-commerce. Last year Swedes spent SEK 77 billion on e-commerce and this year the figure is expected to grow to SEK 88 billion. During the first quarter growth in e-commerce was 15 per cent, according to statistics from Postnord, the trade association Svensk Digital Handel and HUI Research.
Arne Andersson, e-commerce expert from Postnord says that trade is into a new phase driven by digitalisation.
The report also shows that consumers have less interest in buying cheap goods from China. This is partly due to new charges but also due to more awareness about sustainability.
We are a small, but qualified team of graduates in politics, economics, English and classics dedicated to providing quality news digests in English that offer readers a first-hand look at the most important topics covered by the Swedish press. Here you will find a selection of the articles that are published in our Swedish Press Review.