🚆 Easter chaos
To: Riedia Readers
|March 16, 2023||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Thursday. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we're covering:
Challenges in booking trains for Easter, a new program to combat suicide, the Central Bank's interest rate policy under the unstable global economy, and the financial struggles families with children are facing.
— Julia Powanda, Viviana Levet, Carlos Lago, Paul Chen
🚆 Difficulty booking train tickets for Easter holidays
If you are looking to book a train for your Easter holidays in three weeks, be aware that at least for now it is still not possible to book SJ tickets on several routes.
This is because there is a lack of timetables and the number of departures has been greatly reduced.
The problems mainly concern the night trains to Jämtland and Hamburg. Regional trains Stockholm–Gothenburg via Västerås, as well as Örebro and Oslo trains via Karlstad, are also lacking tickets. For instance, from Stockholm to Gothenburg on Thursday, April 6th, SJ appears to only have 7 departures to choose from, out of the normally scheduled 27. The rest of the trips are marked as unavailable.
Will it be fixed soon?
If and when departures are going to be added remains still unclear.
According to SJ, on lines where there are some departures for sale, and it says that "track work is planned" on other departures, it is not likely that more train tickets will be released. But on the lines where SJ hasn't released traffic at all yet, some of the barriers will certainly be removed.
The basic problem is a major backlog in maintenance work, which is currently being fixed. Just like before Christmas, when it was also difficult to book tickets, SJ blames the Swedish Transport Agency.
According to SJ, this is entirely due to the Swedish Transport Agency, which is late with its planning of timetables and track work.
by TT | edited by Riedia
🧒 Organizations sound the alarm: tough on families with children
Increased costs for food, electricity, and interest rates are making it difficult for families to make ends meet, and children are the biggest victims, according to several organizations.
Struggling single parents
3 out of 10 single parents, with an income below SEK 35,000 a month before tax, have had difficulty buying nutritious food every day of the week — or paying for their children's leisure activities during the past six months.
The Swedish Institute of Public Opinion Research survey commissioned by Save the Children, the Tenants' Association, the Red Cross, and the Mayflower shows the struggles families are facing. The study also indicates that one out of four single parents with a monthly income below SEK 29,500 before tax had difficulty paying the bills. One out of six has had difficulties paying for public transport.
Maria Frisk, Sweden's Director of Save the Children, says that, "we need to gather strength from the whole society and do everything we can to meet the difficult situation for many children in Sweden. We also want to see more from politics."
The study has asked 1,240 parents with children aged 0-17 years.
by TT | edited by Riedia
🏫 New program to combat suicide
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has developed a new web education program to prevent suicide.
The training is aimed at people working in social services, and is intended to provide advice on how to conduct conversations with people who are mentally ill and who may have suicidal thoughts. The training – which takes about 60 minutes to complete – includes texts, films, and audio files. The course focuses on motivating conversations and actual physical meetings in contact with suicidal people, and provides examples of how these can be carried out.
The education also describes the importance of interacting with healthcare and how social work can counteract suicide.
Those who attend the training should be able to do so both through computers, smart mobiles, and tablets.
Suicides in Sweden
Every year, approximately 1,200 people kill themselves in Sweden. if you are feeling unwell emotionally and feel like you need support such as:
- 112 for general issues regarding your health and mental health.
- 116 111 (BRIS) if you are under 18 years of age.
- 0770-55 00 10, which is the rainbow hotline for LGBTQI people and relatives.
- 901 01, which is the suicide line.
If you need help finding where to seek treatments, you can always call 11 77. Just remember, you are not alone
by TT | edited by Riedia
💰 Defense practices wartime payment method
The Swedish Armed Forces will begin practicing how to buy goods and services with a requisition. Armed Forces' logistics coordinator Johan Eriksson says, "we want the cashier at a gas station to feel safe and reassured that purchasing with a requisition is an accepted method of purchasing by the Swedish Armed Forces. It should be clear how the suppliers should check our personnel and how they should then invoice the Armed Forces."
The chaos of war
Power supplies and other services are often cut during crises and wars, including payment systems. During the major military exercise Aurora 23 this spring, part of the training will be to buy goods and services using a requisition. The Swedish Armed Forces have previously practiced parts of the purchasing process. This year's exercise focuses on the control of those who use the requisition and information to suppliers.
Around 26,000 army, navy, air force, and home guard personnel participate, along with military units from 14 other countries. Aurora 23 runs from April to May. It is the largest national exercise of its kind in over 25 years and will be most noticeable in southern Sweden.
by TT | edited by Riedia
What else is happening in Sweden?
🥘 Minister for Finance Elisabeth Svantesson (M) is calling the food giants , "it's unacceptable if there are actors who raise prices unnecessarily." Svantesson intends to call in the food giants as soon as possible in the shadow of SCB's latest figure that food prices, including non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee and soft drinks, have risen by 21% in the last year. The food market is dominated by ICA, Axfood, and Coop, where ICA is by far the largest.
🛤️ The Swedish Transport Agency's preliminary figures for February show that 76,439 out of 84,091 passenger trains reached their final station on time. Overall, the punctuality rate is 90.9 percent. This was 0.1 percentage points lower than last year's February. For various reasons, 7,652 trains were more than five minutes late for their final station in February. Of these trains, 825 were late due to people being on the tracks. Another 600 passenger trains were delayed by up to five minutes. Anna Ericsson, head of the Traffic business area, says that people being on the tracks is a big cause for delayed trains, and that the behavior needs to stop.
🚨 A man has been arrested on suspicion of human smuggling . Police and prosecutors suspect that a man smuggled about 50 people into Sweden via the Polish ferry to Verköhamnen in Karlskrona. The man was arrested after a customs check on New Year's Day, when he was found carrying a person in his car who was not allowed to enter Sweden. The prosecutor has asked for assistance from authorities in Poland and the Czech Republic—where the suspect was previously—to help conduct the investigation.
What is happening in the world?
🇭🇳 President of Honduras Xiomara Castro has launched the process to establish diplomatic relations with China, which means that it is breaking up ties with Taiwan. China does not accept that countries have relations with both Beijing and the Taiwanese government in Taipei. Honduras has until now been one of only 14 countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Taiwan has responded and asked Honduras to carefully consider and not take the "wrong decision" that could harm the long-standing friendship between Taiwan and Honduras. Latin America has been an important diplomatic battlefield for China and Taiwan. Just like Honduras, several countries in the region such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica have chosen to switch sides from Taiwan to China.
🇬🇧 UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt believes that a UK recession can be avoided. In his budget presentation, he predicts that inflation will fall to 2.9% this year. He is also presenting a budget package to mitigate cost increases of £94 billion (approximately SEK 1,205 billion). He will also present a plan to reduce debt levels.
🇵🇱 Polish activist Justyna Wydrzyńska has been convicted of aiding an abortion . Wydrzyńska was sentenced to community service, but had originally faced three years in prison for sending her own abortion medicine to a woman in a destructive relationship who wanted an abortion. The woman's husband discovered the plans and reported his wife to the police. A month later, the woman had a miscarriage. Wydrzyńska does not deny the act, but argued that charges should be dropped since no abortion took place. Poland's abortion legislation is among the strictest in Europe. Abortion is only allowed in instances of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is in danger. Anyone who helps a pregnant woman to carry out an illegal abortion risks up to three years in prison.
📊 The global stock exchanges and interest markets have started to recover , and the risk appetite returns after the recent financial turmoil. Many bank shares have been raised, and interest rates on government bonds have gone up, while the Swedish krona has improved. There were concerns that central banks may stop raising interest rates due to market turbulence caused by the collapse of two US niche banks. However, based on Governor Erik Thedéen's statement, the Riksbank is still planning to increase the policy rate in April.
📈 The US banking crisis is causing concerns about rising mortgage costs for Swedish households. While some banks predict a change in interest rates, Handelsbanken and Swedbank continue to expect further increases from the Riksbank. The Riksbank will soon announce its position on new inflation figures, which are estimated to be 11.7% according to the current food price. The European Central Bank's interest statement will also be relevant to the Riksbank's decision-making. The next interest rate decision will be announced on April 26th.
💰 Swedbank has been fined 850 million SEK by the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) due to an IT failure in April 2022, which caused almost a million customers to receive incorrect balances on their accounts. Finansinspektionen's review found that Swedbank violated internal control rules by making a change to a system-critical IT system without following proper procedures and lacking proper control mechanisms. Swedbank has apologized to its customers and taken "strong action" to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.
🌼 This year’s major exhibition of the National Museum is " The Garden – Six Centuries of Art and Nature ". It is about how mythical and real gardens have been depicted in art, but also about how art has left its mark on gardens, from the Middle Ages until today. More than 300 objects from paintings, drawings, applied art, to sculpture will be displayed from 23 February 2023 to 7 January 2024. A series of lectures on the topic of the historical and contemporary perspectives on gardens will also be held from 27 April.
🇲🇽 Gothenburg's Museum of World Culture will have an exhibition on Mexico's diverse culture and traditions. The colorful exhibition showcases stories of struggle and courage alongside beautiful artwork. The text is also available in Spanish and English. The exhibition will run until April 30th.
🎶 The Midnight will be returning to Stockholm on March 19th. The duo is touring for their fourth album "Heroes." Tickets can be purchased here .
Discover Sweden - Food
🧑🍳 Want to get started with Swedish cooking?
Sweden is diverse in its culinary landscape. The streets are filled with numerous restaurants and food from all over the world; however, it would be a major missed opportunity if you didn't also explore Sweden's unique local food and traditional cooking.
Getting into Swedish cooking is not easy, especially if you come from a different culture and are used to different ingredients. Language can also be a barrier, hindering you from learning more about Swedish cooking beyond frozen meatballs, canned herring, and packaged cinnamon rolls.
Luckily there are some great resources out there to help you get cooking up some Swedish delicacies! You can check out " My Swedish Kitchen ," an English-speaking cooking show from Rachel Khoo, a famous cook and food writer from Britain, who offers a unique outsider's perspective. Khoo also helps you understand Swedish cuisine based on seasonal and regional ingredients, as well as the culinary traditions behind every dish.
You can easily watch "My Swedish Kitchen" on Youtube and begin your Swedish cooking journey in the comfort of your own kitchen. Next time, try out some Swedish food for your friends, family, or yourself!
About Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo studied cooking in Paris and produced several TV shows across the globe before she finally moved to Stockholm . In addition to this TV show, Rachel Khoo has also published a cookbook with over 100 Swedish recipes.
by Paul Chen/Riedia
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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