🤴🏼 Getting rid of the king?
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|May 18, 2023||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Thursday. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we're covering:
An alarming increase in mental health issues among children, shortcomings in nuclear safety, and the people's love of Crown Princess Victoria!
—Viviana Levet, Julia Powanda, Carlos Lago
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🏭 Shortcomings at Ringhals - decreased radiation safety
The latest year's inspection of radiation safety at the Ringhals nuclear power plant highlights serious shortcomings. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is lowering the facility's rating for radiation safety.
"There are parts of the operation that work well, but we have identified a negative trend for safety work in general over a longer period of time," said Anne Edland, head of inspection coordination at the authority, according to a press release.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority makes an annual assessment of radiation safety at all Swedish nuclear power plants. This year, radiation safety at Ringhals is assessed as "acceptable." This is a lower rating than before, when it was "satisfactory."
According to the authority, this is due to a "combined picture of how events have arisen and been dealt with".
by Joakim Magnå/TT | edited by Riedia
🧒 "Alarming" increase of mental health issues among children
Bad mood, sadness, irritability, or difficulty sleeping. The number of teenagers reporting recurring mental health issues is increasing, according to a new report from the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden.
The National Board of Health and Welfare's survey "Schoolchildren's Health Habits" has been conducted since the 1980s and since then, the number of students who report having at least two health issues more than once a week has gradually increased. The percentages are now the highest since the study began among 13 and 15-year-olds.
Among 13-year-old girls, the percentage is 68% while the corresponding figure for boys is 39%. In the 15-year-old age group, the percentages are even higher, 77% for girls and 46% for boys.
"No one knows for sure why the trend looks as it does, but one reason seems to be that schools are functioning worse. Many believe that it also plays a role in children's lives looking different today, they sit still to a greater extent and experience increased pressure because society has become more complex," says psychologist Siri Helle.
Siri Helle believes that mental health problems among students can have far-reaching consequences for both the individual and society.
"More than half of sick leave is due to psychiatric diagnoses and costs society SEK 170 billion per year. For the individual, it means great suffering and the risk of social exclusion. When it comes to crime, it is seen that half of those involved in organized crime have had contact with psychiatry."
She emphasizes, however, that more efforts are needed to tackle the problem and highlights a review of the grading system and strengthened student health services as important puzzle pieces.
A well-functioning child and adolescent psychiatry is also an important component, she believes.
The Public Health Authority also points out structural problems in schools as a possible cause of the trend in its report. Among other things, the authority highlights research showing that the school reform of 2011, which introduced the current grading system, increased school-related stress and decreased confidence in academic performance among seventh-grade students.
by Albin Lindström/TT | edited by Riedia
👑 Lowest support for republic in over 20 years
The king sits safely on the throne, and soon Crown Princess Victoria as well. The support for Sweden being a republic has not been this low in over 20 years.
Upholding the monarchy
The SOM Institute's latest survey shows that confidence in the royal family remains relatively stable. This also applies to King Carl XVI Gustaf, who this year celebrates 50 years on the throne.
Last year, 54% responded that the monarchy should be retained, while 20% wanted to abolish it.
At the same time, fewer people than ever before are open to changing the system of government.
When asked whether Sweden should introduce a republic with an elected president, only 11% were in favor of the proposal. Support for a republic has not been this low since 2001.
One explanation may be attributed to the Crown Princess. Victoria is the most popular public figure ever measured in the survey with +28 on a scale ranging from -50 to +50.
This beats Barack Obama and Jens Stoltenberg, among others, who have previously been high on the Swedes' list.
"Even those who believe that the monarchy should be abolished have a generally positive view of the Crown Princess, which must provide good conditions for a future accession to the throne," says Ulrika Andersson, a researcher at the SOM Institute and responsible for the study, in a comment.
by TT | edited by Riedia
What else is happening in Sweden?
🏠 Rents in Sweden have increased by an average of 4.2% this year, the highest in 30 years, according to The Tenant's Association. The negotiations took place over an unusually lengthy period of time with an agreement in place for rent hikes in almost 1.1 million apartments. Many are already struggling with inflation shock, high food prices, and a cost-of-living crisis.
🚨 Swedish parliament's foreign affairs committee had to take cover during Russian attacks in Kyiv. The delegation, invited by the Ukrainian parliament, consisted of seven members of parliament from all parliamentary parties except the Greens. The committee's vice-chairman, Morgan Johansson, explains that they woke up during the air attack on Tuesday night.
🇪🇺 The Council of Europe has launched a new criminal register, called the "register of damage", that will track Russia's war crimes in Ukraine. The register will allow victims to record their losses as a first step towards trials and accountability for the war. The initiative has the support of 40 countries, including Sweden, Japan, Canada, and the US, and will be based in The Hague.
What is happening in the world?
🇬🇧 Britain's former Prime Minister Liz Truss has warned that a Cold War with China is inevitable and has called on the UK to take a firm stand on the issue of Taiwan during a five-day visit to the country. Truss accuses China of carrying out the largest peacetime military build-up in history and forming anti-West alliances. She describes Taiwan as the last democratic outpost against totalitarianism and urges Western nations to ensure the island is protected against a potential Chinese attack.
🇮🇹 Italian students are camping in front of universities across the country to protest against high rents due to a shortage of student housing. Nearly 70% of Italian students live with their parents, with only 36,000 places available in the country's student residences, far from enough for the 764,000 enrolled students. Italy's government recently announced allocating €660m to create 60,000 new student homes in the next three years, but students are skeptical, stating left-wing governments over decades have not addressed the shortage of work and housing.
🇫🇮 Finland's bank accounts in Russia have been frozen, including those belonging to the embassy in Moscow and the consulate in St Petersburg. The move is described as serious and the Finnish foreign ministry says cash payments may now have to be used to pay bills. Finland confirmed it has sent a note to Moscow following what it claimed is a breach of the Vienna Convention, and President Sauli Niinistö described it as exaggerated Russian retaliation for Finland's own limits on cash to the Russian embassy in Helsinki.
🌲 The spruce bark beetle is swarming due to the heat, and there are concerns of billion SEK losses for the forest in Sweden if the upcoming summer is dry and warm. The beetle has caused damage to nearly half of the trees felled by the Gudrun storm over the last five years. Forest owners are advised to prevent the beetles from establishing themselves this spring and throughout the summer to mitigate the risk of damage.
👮 Swedish authorities have warned that the informal payment system, hawala , is being used for money laundering and financing terrorism. The high level of anonymity provided by the structure of the hawala payment system combined with the difficulty in tracing money makes it a highly effective tool for illicit purposes. Reduced opportunities for the physical import/export of cash, stricter penalties, and increased requirements for registration with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority are some of the proposals presented by authorities to combat the issue.
✈️ The cost of international air travel was 33% higher in April this year compared to last year, according to Statistic Sweden. This is the highest price measured since the Consumer Price Index survey began in 1993 and only two other months have seen higher prices. Other modes of transportation, such as charter flights and boat trips, have similarly experienced significant price hikes.
🌱 Nacka 's sustainability festival Long Live Green is going on now! The festival offers a variety of activities from an outdoor exhibition, rejuvenating forest bathing sessions, an exciting small insects safari, tranquil evening tea gatherings, and reflective gratitude meditation. You can learn more about the times and places of the events here. The festival will run until May 22nd.
🎵 Five more acts have been added to the lineup of Gothenburg's Way Out West festival, including Cleo, Maja Francis, Solen, 7ebra, and High Vis. The festival, which will also feature Håkan Hellström, Blur, Seinabo Sey, and José González, will take place from August 10-12 in Gothenburg. Cleo, who won the Best Hip Hop award at the Grammys, is expected to be a highlight of this year's festival.
🎄 Swedish singer Anders Ekborg is set to bring his "A Quiet Christmas" tour to various locations across Sweden this holiday season. The concert, which features both traditional and personal Christmas songs, was first performed by Ekborg in 2010 and has become a recurring annual event. The tour starts on November 29th in Karlstad and ends on December 22nd in Stockholm .
Discover Sweden - Royal
👑 Gender equal succession
Crown Princess Victoria holds a unique distinction as the first female heir apparent in Sweden's history. Prior to a change in the Swedish Act of Succession in 1980, only male heirs could inherit the throne. However, with the amendment, Crown Princess Victoria became next in line to succeed her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, making her the first female heir apparent in Sweden and breaking a longstanding tradition.
The revision in the succession laws also had an impact on the family name of the Princess's children. Prior to 1979, a child born to a Princess would have inherited the father's last name. However, with the change in rules, as they are now in direct line to the throne, they automatically receive the royal last name Bernadotte.
by Julia Powanda/Riedia
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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