Gotland―best in Sweden. Lead in the coffee at the Karolinska Institute. Swedish population up. Two liberal parties to become one?
Gotland―best in Sweden
According to the poll “The favorite municipality in Sweden,” made by Sifo (the Swedish Institute for Opinion surveys), the most popular is the municipality of Gotland. It’s important to point out that not all of Sweden’s 289 municipalities were taking part in the survey―it was about the general impression Swedes have of the 28 big municipalities in the country. 1200 people aged 15-79 were asked, “If you think of the following municipalities, what’s your impression?” That Gotland tops the list has to do with several things, according to Sifo analyst Martin Ahlqvist, but he puts the focus on one thing only: Gotland’s media exposure. Not only is the island a well-established tourist destination for many Swedes, it’s always in focus during the annual Almedals Week, when all politicians gather there. “To be seen is very important when it comes to being known and liked,” Ahlqvist says. “Few municipalities get as much media exposure during a week every year, and it gives Gotland great possibilities to do something about the view of the municipality in the rest of Sweden.” Following Gotland in popularity is Göteborg, Halmstad and Stockholm. High unemployment gives a negative mark to a place, just as having its own university, tourism and closeness to a big city give it good marks. At the very bottom of the list we find Malmö and Södertälje.
Lead in the coffee at the Karolinska Institute
It was during a routine check that the Karolinska Institute medical university in Stockholm found the hot water in a coffee machine far exceeded the standard for lead set by the National Food Administration. The coffee machine supplier suspects it could be caused by a brass alloy containing two percent lead. “We take this very seriously, but before we make a big deal out of it, we want to do checks with our manufacturers. They are very confused because they only use food approved materials," says Christer Svensson, CEO of the supplier company Café Bar.
Swedish population up
The Swedish population is increasing. At the new year there were 9,417,000 Swedes―an increase of 76,000 during the last year. The increase is due to high birth rates and high immigration. During the whole last decade the birth rates kept rising; last year 116,000 children were born, a three percent increase over 2009. 99,000 people moved to Sweden in 2010, most of whom were Swedes who moved back home after living abroad. Other big groups were people from Somalia, Iraq and Poland. Fifteen percent of the Swedish population is born abroad, and another four percent is born in Sweden but has parents who are born elsewhere. Around 90,000 people died during the year. 49,000 emigrated, but to some extent that large number can be derived from a big investigation made by the tax office. They searched for people whose addresses have been unknown for a long time and if they could not find them, they were listed as having emigrated. Even without this group, emigration is higher than usual.
Two liberal parties to become one?
Magnus Andersson and Adam Cwejman, chairmen of the youth leagues connected to the Center Party (green liberals) and Liberal People’s Party (social liberals), write on the debate site Newsmill that their parties ought to merge. The reason is they would more easily defend the liberal values as one stronger party and they are close enough to make it possible. Both parties are today part of the center-right government together with the Christian Democrats and the Moderate Party.
The beautiful island of Gotland, the largest island in the Baltic Sea, is also the most popular municipality in Sweden. It has a population of 57,221 with 22,000 living in the main town of Visby. The main sources of income on the island are tourism, agriculture and concrete production from locally mined limestone.
Current chairman of the Liberal Youth of Sweden, Adam Cwejman, believes it would benefit both parties if the Center Party and the Liberal People’s Party (Centern and Folkpartiet) merged. He is joined by Magnus Andersson, chairman of the youth league of the Center Party.