New Swedish bills and coins
The Riksbank is planning to introduce a new bill, the 200 krona bill (200 SEK is $29.21). They will be in circulations from 2015 according to the plans. The bills will also be more difficult to fake. At the same time, a 2-krona coin ($0.29) will be introduced. The plan to substitute the 20 krona bill ($2.92) with a coin of the same denominations has however been voted down.

Swedes continued to borrow more
Despite the new mortgage ceiling of 85 % of the value, and plans on requirements of mortgage amortization, the housing loan boom continues. In November, households borrowed 8% more than a year ago, shows new statistics. Since 1995, general house prices have far more than doubled and the price increase in the major cities has been even greater. Both the government and the central bank have warned for how the housing market is developing.

Ylva Johansson wants to lead the Swedish Social democrats
Former Minister for Schools, Ylva Johansson says she want to be part of the leadership that takes over the Social democratic party when Mona Sahlin resigns next year. She says it is up to the party’s election committee to suggest what position in the leadership that they believe would fit her best. It is very unusual that a Social democrat says openly that she want to lead the party.

Bad temper in December
Have a merry, merry Christmas – so the song goes. But Swedes aren’t very merry in the dark month of December. Just like father Tyko in the beloved animated short film “Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonsson’s julafton”, always on TV in Sweden at Christmas, we feel anger and irritation flare up. This according to a survey done by the Swedish church. The church’s director of assistance Christer Åkesson says it’s all because we feel the pressure of creating the perfect Christmas with many Christmas presents and decorated homes and happy children. “The consumption hysteria before Christmas make us worried rather than happy in time for the big holiday.” The study shows that 50% of us don’t even remember what we received for Christmas last year, which to Åkesson is a sign that Christmas presents are overrated. He himself gives presents only to the children, he believes grown-ups should focus on spending more time together. “I don’t think we in the Swedish Church should tell people how to celebrate Christmas. But I think we ought to give each other time. Time to meet, time to listen and time to be together is so much more important than a clean home and presents.” Just like Karl-Bertil’s philosophy in other words: “Show that you care and be kind.” With Christmas behind us, this is perhaps something to think about for 2011?