Sweden’s government wants to boost “neglected” countryside

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)
How to make all of Sweden prosper has long been an issue talked about by politicians. Now the government has presented its plan for how this is going to happen.

At a press briefing on Monday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven accused “previous governments, no matter what colour” of neglecting Sweden’s less populated areas.

He said the government’s overall aim is a countryside with equal opportunities as for the rest of the country when it comes to business, work, housing and welfare. In addition to investing SEK 1.5 billion in rural development over the next two years, the government wants parliament to set longer-term goals and a direction for coming governments, a strategy to ensure that people feel they can remain in – or even move to – a Swedish countryside offering job opportunities and good services.

The proposal is based on ideas formulated by a parliamentary committee last year, a committee in which all parties in the national parliament were represented. But as time drew nearer to formulate the ideas into a concrete law, the opposition parties in the centre-right alliance chose not to stand with the government in this matter. With a general election coming up later this year, the opposition parties have reserved the right to come with their own proposals on this.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Biggest danger to Arctic business is protectionism says Arctic Economic Council chair, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Finland’s exports up by 15% in 2017, Yle News

Norway:  Can Barents region become a superhub on China’s Arctic Silk Road?, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Unveiling of IKEA founder’s will brings good news to Arctic Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Northwest Passage cruise marks turning point in Arctic tourism, Alaska Public Radio Network

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