⬆️ Moving north
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|May 23, 2023||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Tuesday. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we're covering:
The consequences for ignoring mandatory military service, deteriorating student mental health, and Sweden's huge labor need in the north.
—Viviana Levet, Julia Powanda
War & Conflict
🪖 Prosecution for those who ignore enlistment
In recent years, more than 300 people have been prosecuted for violating national defense obligations. This can happen if one does not show up for enlistment or attend basic or military training.
"If someone just doesn't want to go, it's not a valid excuse," says Per Andersen Helseth at the Agency for Conscript Testing and Registration.
Between 2017 and 2022, 314 people were prosecuted for violating national defense obligations. In the first four months of 2023, 38 people have been prosecuted, according to statistics from the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
It is more difficult to determine how many of those convicted, since the statistics are not collected and searchable in all district courts.
Most common reason
The most common reason for not showing up for enlistment is illness, and it is a valid reason to be absent if it can be proven. If one cannot attend, they should inform the agency as soon as possible, but no later than the same day, if possible.
"If one has a valid reason for not attending enlistment, there will be no prosecution, and they will usually receive a new enlistment time. However, if one just ignores the call because they don't want to or forget, it is not a valid excuse."
Looking at how many are called in and how many do not show up, it is relatively few, emphasizes Per Andersen Helseth. Of the 16,200 young people born in 2003 who were called up for conscription in 2021, 120 were reported for not showing up.
When someone does not show up for military service or reserve exercises, it is the units that report it after investigating whether there are valid reasons for the absence. It is not automatic that you will be reported to the police for not showing up, emphasized Michael Malm at the Defense Forces' total defense and community planning section.
Failure to appear can result in fines or up to one year in prison in peacetime. During heightened preparedness, the penalty is increased to a minimum of six months' imprisonment and a maximum of four years. The imprisonment sentences that have been imposed have generally been short, a few weeks.
by Boel Holm/TT | edited by Riedia
🔋 Sweden ready to attract 100,000 new green jobs in the north
Over 100,000 new jobs within ten years. The new industrial ventures in the north require a migration of people equivalent to the entirety of Jönköping to succeed.
However, recruitment is far from simple.
Peter Larsson is the government coordinator for the new industrial ventures in the north and is tasked with trying to align industry demands for the workforce with the circumstances necessary for people to be able and willing to move to the jobs.
"A general conclusion I have drawn is that we are very good at transitions in Sweden, but not at establishing new ventures, such as when new industries are 'parachuted' in like this."
Janus Brandin, regional development director for Region Norrbotten, is on the same page. There is no established routine for new colossal ventures - especially not in the north, where the population has mostly decreased. He jokes that the National Labor Market Board, AMS, the predecessor to the Employment Service, in the 1960s and 1970s stood for "Alla måste söderut" (Everyone Must Go South). That’s different now.
"This has not been done before. There is no template," says Brandin.
by Johanna Cederblad/TT | edited by Riedia
🏫 More stressed students and fewer enjoying school
Fewer teenagers are enjoying school, and a majority of all 15-year-old girls have sleeping problems, according to the extensive survey of student health by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
"There has been a deterioration in both living conditions and lifestyle habits for children in this age group," says Petra Löfstedt at the Swedish Public Health Agency.
In total, nearly 42,000 students who are 11, 13, or 15 years old have answered questions about their health. The survey, which is part of an international study, has been conducted ten times since 1985, and it was four years ago since the last one. The results are partly grim reading.
For example, students' enjoyment of school has decreased. Only 9 percent of 13-year-old girls state that they feel very good about school. Among boys, it is 13 percent. These are the lowest figures since the start of the study.
The survey covers areas such as social relationships, school, alcohol and drugs, physical activity, eating habits, and sexuality.
"Since 2010, we have seen a trend where fewer people enjoy school, and more are stressed. It is worrying because we know that enjoyment of school is closely linked to academic achievement," says Petra Löfstedt, who is one of two responsible for the study at the Swedish Public Health Agency.
Since the 1990s, the proportion who report having been drunk at some point has dropped from around 50 percent to 20 percent four years ago. But this year's results, based on responses from 2021/22, show a small increase.
More students are overweight, but it is also more common for them to be dissatisfied with their bodies. Significantly more girls than boys report being too fat.
Most students also move too little. Among 11-year-olds, only 14 percent of girls and 24 percent of boys reach the recommended amount of at least an hour of strenuous physical activity per day, a figure that has remained relatively unchanged in recent years. At the same time, the proportion who exercise at least four times a week is increasing.
by Petra Hedbom/TT | edited by Riedia
What else is happening in Sweden?
🌧️ After a short-lived summer heatwave, cooler weather and rain are on their way to Sweden as a low-pressure area off the Atlantic moves towards the country. The rain is expected to increase on Tuesday and move eastwards across Sweden, with the northern areas being most affected by the cold air. However, warmer weather is expected to return in time for next weekend.
📈 More young people in Sweden are being arrested for serious weapons offenses, with 24 people under the age of 18 arrested from the beginning of the year up to April. This is a five-fold increase from the same period last year, according to Swedish police data. The increase is occurring in all police regions except the northern region and is largely due to gang criminals increasingly using younger people to handle weapons.
🌅 The far north is experiencing the end of sunsets as the sun will stay above the horizon around the clock for the next few months. The midnight sun will gradually move southward towards places like Abisko, Kiruna, and Svappavaara. This phenomenon is due to the tilt of the earth's axis and marks the beginning of the polar day.
What is happening in the world?
🇬🇷 Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his New Democracy party are likely to face a second round of voting as they fall five seats short of a parliamentary majority. With 93% of the votes counted, New Democracy has the largest share of the vote with 40.8%, up just over 2% from 2019. Mitsotakis is seeking a "strong government" that can carry out necessary reforms and has publicly stated he does not plan to seek cooperation with other parties.
🇺🇸 The US and Papua New Guinea have signed a security agreement that grants American forces access to the Pacific nation's ports and airports. The deal aims to counter China's growing presence in the region. The pact was signed by PNG Prime Minister James Marape and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who attended a meeting with other Pacific leaders, including India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
🚀 Saudi researcher Rayyanah Barnawi has become the first Saudi woman in space, alongside fighter pilot Ali al-Qarni, as they set off for a ten-day visit to the International Space Station. During her preparations, Barnawi said it was a "great pleasure and an honor" to represent the region. The pair are joined by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and American businessman John Shoffner.
☀️ Solar power is having an increasing effect on electricity prices in Sweden as more weather-dependent electricity production leads to greater price variations over the day, resulting in low prices during sunny weekend days. While more solar parks are being built in the country, the main price driver is the surplus of cheap solar power generated in Germany, which it imports. The same principle applies to wind power, which has the greatest impact during low consumption and high wind days, causing negative prices.
🕒 Timing and luck are the most important factors determining one’s financial success , according to economist Gustav Almqvist. He notes that investing is often as much about luck as skill, and that unfortunate timing can have a severe impact on individuals, particularly those who already have tight margins or are heavily indebted. Almqvist calls for acceptance that the economy and markets are unpredictable, and for the removal of blame from people who take loans and fail to predict the future.
🔍 The Energy Authority in Finland is investigating whether energy company Vattenfall attempted to manipulate electricity market prices in 2022. The company is suspected of offering smaller amounts of electricity than it could have or buying too little to raise prices. If the allegations are proven to be true, Vattenfall could face billion-dollar fines, with the harshest possible penalty being 10% of the company's turnover for the year the offense was committed.
🖼️ An "unauthorized" exhibition featuring tribute works to elusive street artist Banksy is set to move to a new location in Sweden. "The mystery of Banksy – a genius mind" exhibition showcases 150 motifs from graffiti and photographs to sculptures and video installations, and will be tailored to each venue. Previously shown in Malmö, the exhibit will take place in Göteborg and Eriksbergshallen before moving to Stockholm on 27 September.
🎸 Depeche Mode, now a duo following the death of member Andy Fletcher last year, is currently on a world tour, arriving in Stockholm today May 23 . Fans rejoiced when Martin Gore and Dave Gahan revealed last fall that the band would release a new album and go on tour despite Fletcher's passing. The "Memento Mori" tour will be the band's first without Fletcher, and it comes almost exactly a year after his death.
Discover Sweden - Migration
🇨🇦 Oh Canada
While we have previously discussed Swedes in the United States, we should note that a significant number of Swedes also emigrated in large numbers to Canada .
Swedish settlers played a significant role in the development of some Canadian provinces, particularly in the early 20th century. Swedish immigrants established successful communities, such as New Sweden in Manitoba and the Scandinavian community in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The majority of Swedish emigrants consisted of landless laborers, as well as the offspring of small landholders and crofters. The state Lutheran Church of Sweden actively encouraged impoverished individuals to seek a new life abroad. Emigration promoters from the United States and Canada played an active role in enticing settlers from Sweden.
Their contributions can still be seen today in the form of cultural festivals, traditional Swedish cuisine, and preserved heritage sites.
by Julia Powanda/Riedia
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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