🍛 Food price cap?
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|March 14, 2023||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Tuesday. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we're covering:
Serious criticism of the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), what the death sentence of a Swedish man in Iran means, and experts' opposing opinions on a proposed food price cap.
– Julia Powanda, Carlos Lago, Viviana Levet, Paul Chen
The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) has received serious criticism from the supervisory authority IAF for not adequately checking jobseekers and notifying unemployment funds when unemployed people do not meet the requirements for a particular job.
The IAF believes that this lack of control could result in individuals remaining unemployed for an extended time, as well as unemployment benefits being paid out longer than necessary.
For instance, to receive benefits from the unemployment fund, an unemployed individual must actively seek jobs that are "suitable": based on past experience and where the person lives.
If the jobseeker has not found a job after some time, the job search needs to be broadened, and the person may need to consider moving, for example.
If the unemployed person does not do what is necessary to find a new job, Arbetsförmedlingen must notify the unemployment fund, which the IAF believes Arbetsförmedlingen is failing to do.
The criticism of Arbetsförmedlingen was raised by IAF in 2017 and since then, the agency has centralized its work, which has had a positive effect, even though problems persist regarding appropriate work and search areas.
The problem is that Arbetsförmedlingen's double assignment to support jobseekers while also checking their eligibility for unemployment benefits creates a challenge.
by Martina Karpmyr/TT | edited by Riedia
Iran - Sweden
🇮🇷 Expert: Death sentence in Iran not directed against Sweden
The death sentence against the Swedish Iranian Habib Chaab has now been passed down by the Iranian Supreme Court.
But, according to Said Mahmoudi, professor of international law at Stockholm University, it should not be seen as a mark against Sweden, "this is a verdict against the Arab minority in Iran. Not against Sweden."
Habib Chaab has both Swedish and Iranian citizenship. Iran has accused Chaab of acting as leader of the separatist group ASMLA – consisting of Iran's Arab minority – and of planning and carrying out bombings against the regime.
This weekend the news came in that Iran's Supreme Court has sentenced him to death. The crime he was convicted of is fighting against the Islamic regime, a religious and serious crime often punishable by death in the country. Said Mahmoudi says that the judgment was expected, "almost every time someone attacks the regime you know that they take revenge."
Not directed at Sweden
In 2019 the Iranian former prosecutor Hamid Noury was arrested by the Swedish police at Arlanda. Last year he was sentenced to life imprisonment and expulsion for serious violations of international law and murder, for his involvement in the executions of political prisoners in Iran in 1988. The case will be decided by the Court of Appeal in the autumn.
Chaab, who lived several years in exile in Sweden, was kidnapped in Türkiye (Turkey) the year after Noury was arrested. According to Said Mahmoudi, it is not surprising that some connect the events. However, according to Mahmoudi, it is not likely that the judgment against Chaab is directed at Sweden, "it's true that it's a political verdict, but it's a mark against the entire Arab minority in Iran, and above all against the organization ASMLA that Iran has terrorized."
Easy to blame
The Arab minority is mainly located in the western part of Iran. "The group has been persecuted and discriminated against ever since the revolution in 1979," says Said Mahmoudi, and has been openly critical of the regime ever since. The group is mainly Sunni Muslims, unlike the Shia Muslim regime.
One of the crimes for which Chaab was convicted, and is probably considered the most serious, is an attack on a military parade in 2018, where several of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed.
by Andreas Sjölin/TT | edited by Riedia
📈 Experts oppose call for food price caps
Now there is a call for price caps on food to help households. The leader of the Left Party Nooshi Dadgostar demands the introduction of price caps on food, but neither Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) nor Minister of Finance Elisabeth Svantesson (M) is on board.
Experts and research also suggest that historical price regulation, including price caps, has caused negative effects and problems.
Lars Jonung, a professor of economics, argues that price regulation only masks the symptoms of inflation and does not address the underlying causes.
Historically price caps have led to shortages, surpluses, and reduced supply, which in turn have caused inflation to become even higher. For instance, in the 1950s, price caps on nails led to a nail shortage, and in the 1970s, price regulation on petrol during the oil crisis did not work as oil producers did not want to sell at a lower price.
Robert Bergqvist, a senior economist, suggests that targeted measures aimed at those who need the support the most and time-limited measures would be more effective in addressing inflation.
Facts: Price caps in Sweden
Historically, price regulation has caused shortages, surpluses, and reduced supply in Sweden. For example, Cellulose, for diapers, was price-regulated in 1950, leading to shortages.
However, some goods were price-regulated for many years, such as menstrual pads, chicken, bread, flour, wood products, and pulpwood.
by Johanna Cederblad/TT | edited by Riedia
✍ Novelist writing gang crimes: "How do you build a society?"
Writer Duraid Al-Khamisi's new novel Lions and Lambs is published this month. The story is set in a suburb of Stockholm, that is at the epicenter of gang crime. In an interview, he notes that spreading gang violence has become an issue that affects the whole of Sweden.
Al-Khamisi came to Sweden at the age of eight when his family fled from the war in Iraq. After Flen and Åkersberga, the family moved to Husby outside Stockholm. He is now a journalist and author.
The spread of gang violence is a subject Al-Khamisi has been exploring since 2015, and his first novel, The Rain Does not Smell Here , is now course literature at university. In it, he wrote autobiographically about racism and class downgrading and the difficulties his family faced after escaping from war-torn Iraq.
"But the question is that's how you build a society"
In discussing his new novel, Al-Khamisi emphasizes the importance of understanding the doubleness of life in areas affected by gang violence, and the human stories that are often overlooked in discussions of the issue.
Al-Khamisi also expresses concern about the lack of hope and meaning that many young people in Sweden feel, whether or not they are involved in crime. He argues that building a stronger and more equitable society is a more effective long-term solution:
"You can certainly deploy many more police officers and fill prisons, but the question is whether this is how you build a society? Is this the way to strengthen young people's confidence in their abilities? To dream, to hope, to believe?"
"There are so many young people today who, whether they are involved in crime or not, see no hope or meaning in their lives. What does this say about our times? What have we made of our shared society?"
by Erika Josefsson/TT | edited by Riedia
What else is happening in Sweden?
👮♀️ After several unexplained deaths in Värmland, police warn that drugs may be involved. Since the beginning of the year, at least three young people have died in Värmland and now police suspect that the deaths may be poisonings from unknown drugs. Morgan Olsson, acting director of Torsby local police area, says that they want to alert the public to this information, as it may mean that a particularly dangerous drug is in circulation.
🦎 Some protected reptiles are set to be evicted from their homes. The planned battery factory in Torslanda in Gothenburg is set to be built on land that is home to several types of protected reptiles and frogs. The County Administrative Board has approved the plans to collect and relocate the animals. The Authority's decision comes with several conditions, including collection methodology and follow-up of the move.
🏛️ Prosecutors are calling for life sentences for the three men charged with murdering 12-year-old Adriana. Adriana was shot dead when she was caught in the crossfire of "sweeping and indiscriminate" automatic gunfire on the night of August 2nd, 2020. Two men in their 20s are believed to be the real targets of the attack, a revenge shooting among gangs.
What is happening in the world?
⛪ Some 200 victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in France will receive financial compensation, says the support agency responsible for the compensation scheme.
💣 Arms import have surged due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to a report by the Peace Research Institute Sipri. The report states that European NATO countries have increased their arms imports by 65% in recent years. Ukraine became the third-largest arms importer in the world last year. India remains the world’s largest importer, but Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Australia also stand out. Meanwhile, Sweden ranks 13th on the list of the world’s largest arms exporters. Although overall arms transfers decreased in 2018–2022 compared to 2013–2017, imports to countries with high geopolitical tensions are rising significantly.
🌊 At least 22 people died when a boat sank outside Madagascar last weekend. On board, the boat sat a total of 47 people who had as a goal to migrate to the island of Mayotte , one of France's overseas departments, about 30 miles northwest of the Malagasy coast. Many migrants try to go to Mayotte every year. In 2021, more than 6.500 people tried to get there illegally, according to the French authorities. Many who try to get there are killed at sea, but there are no aggregate statistics showing how many.
👨💻 The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) is holding a competition for digital communication projects that aim to help more people use technology, with up to three million SEK in funding available. The focus is on enabling older people, new arrivals, and people with disabilities to use emails, chats, video meetings, and text messages. The deadline for applications is March 17th, and winners will be chosen for long-term solutions that improve computer usage.
🌌 The Institute of Space Physics (IRF) and Swedish space company SSC are launching a sounding rocket from the Esrange space base between March 12-22 to study conditions in the ionosphere. The rocket will activate fireworks-like technology over 100 km high, creating colorful light phenomena visible in the evening sky about an hour after sunset. The experiment aims to contribute to northern lights research and improve space weather forecasts. A first launch attempt on Sunday, March 12th was canceled due to strong winds.
💬 Meta, the owner company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has confirmed that it is developing a new text-based social media platform, which is reportedly intended to compete with Twitter. The platform will be decentralized and allow public individuals to share real-time updates about their interests.
🎥 BUFF Malmö Film Festival . It is an annual international children’s and youth film festival that takes place on different locations in Malmö for one week in March, this year is on 11th – 17th. On Thursday, in collaboration with BUFF Film Festival, Moderna Museet in Malmö will present three short films about being young in the world. The movie will be in both English and Swedish, and no pre-registration is required.
🎻 Nils Frahm – Music for Uppsala . German neoclassical composer Nils Frahm will be returning to Sweden this spring with his new album "Music for Animals" as part of the "Music For" world tour. He will perform at UKK's big stage in Uppsala on March 18th, offering a unique and unforgettable musical experience.
🍷 Göteborg Vin & Deli . It is Gothenburg's largest wine and delicatessen fair. The most knowledgeable suppliers will gather there, enabling visitors to experience well-known brands and learn more. It opens from Friday, March 17th to Saturday 18th. Teenagers and children under 18 years old are not allowed at the fair, including children in strollers/saddles.
Discover Sweden - Nature
🌊 A nation of islands?
If you were asked to guess which country had the most islands, what would you say? Probably something tropical right? Maybe Indonesia? The Philippines?
Well, you would be wrong. Because the country with the most islands is, in fact, Sweden! Sweden has an estimated 267,570 islands! And the only countries that come close to that number are Sweden's nordic neighbors, Norway with 239,057, and Finland with 178,947.
While Sweden has more islands than any country in the world, only about 1000 of them are inhabited. Why not visit some of them? Both the Stockholm and Gothenburg archipelagos are easily accesible.
by Julia Powanda/Riedia
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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