One million Swedes have had swine flu vaccine.
Around one million Swedes have been vaccinated for the swine flu, according to the country’s public health authorities. “That means that a few hundred thousand people will avoid getting ill, and a thousand people will avoid becoming seriously ill,” said Anders Tegnell of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Tegnell reviewed the current vaccination situation with public health minister Maria Larsson and also addressed the ongoing spread of rumors alleging the vaccine is dangerous. “It’s been said, for example, that Germany is going to switch vaccines. But that is a myth. Germany is not thinking about buying a new vaccine,” he said. “I understand that people want to be careful. But it’s also important not to be misled. The Swedish vaccination program isn’t unique and we're not doing anything out of the ordinary in this country.” Jan Liljemark of the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) said that roughly 100 cases of side effects had been reported thus far. “That figure was very much expected,” he said. Larsson said that the spread of the flu is increasing. “A million Swedes have been vaccinated and we have very little time before the big spread of infection is expected to start,” she told the TT news agency. She hopes that as many people as possible get vaccinated, adding that there have yet to be any “strange side effects”. “So people should feel secure with the vaccine,” she added.

Man without memory revealed.
Some time ago we told you about the mystery man from Malmö who appealed to the Swedish people for help regarding his identity, now we can tell you he is German. The man, who spoke English when he was found outside a police station in Malmö three weeks ago was a bluffer. Yesterday Swedish TV revealed that the man was caught surfing his own homepage on a public computer. “It seems he made the whole story up,” said Malmö police investigator Anders Lindskog. “We have received help from German police in identifying him.” The man in question is 65 years old and has a wife in Berlin. He will be transported back to Germany within the next week.

Car drivers must pay.
Swedish car drivers will have to help in paying for the building of new roads. The Social Democrats have high ambitions when it comes to the building of new roads and railways, and one decision that was recently taken is to make the drivers themselves pay up via so called user- and crowd fees. “This is new. We have never taken a decision like this before,” said Thomas Östros, economical speaker. According to Östros it’s proof that the Social Democrats take financial responsibility.

Working 9 to 3?
Forget Dolly Parton’s working 9-5, how does a 6-hour workday sound, with full salary? Before we go any further, we have to add that it is for people with young children only and it’s an idea from Lars Ohly, party chairman of the Swedish Left Party. His goal is an increased equality. A 6-hour workday is a classic demand from the Left Party, but the latest suggestion in the party’s program sounds a bit different: “The normal work day must be shortened” it says. “This question has been up for debate the past 35 years,” explained Ohly, “and not enough has happened. So we have to come up with new strategies.” Ohly maintains that the 6-hour workday is still a demand but at the moment more of a vision. Ohly says a lessened workload will have many positive side effects: “Not only would the parents feel better, but it would lead to more equality. Many men will share in the responsibility it is to have children. And many parents feel like they spend too much time at work, and too little time with their children.” Other parties, too, have proposals for equality: The Moderate Party proposes a bonus to parents who divide the parental leave equally and to fathers who work part time. The Liberals believe parents should get economically compensated if the local government cannot offer a spot at a kindergarden, and the Christian Democrats proposes doubling the parental days for fathers wishing to stay home with their children.