Swedes work longer
More people continue to work after reaching the traditional retirement age of 65 years. 12½ percent of those between 65 and 74 are still working, which is high compared with many other countries. According to an investigation made by the Department for Social Affairs there are four main reasons for this: changes in the pension systems; a tax system that encourages people to work longer; better education among those who now are in this age group; and, generally better health.

Libraries may become privatized
Within a year, all libraries in Nacka, of southeast Stockholm, may be run by private operators. That would be the first time a local government within Sweden tenders for the operation of all their libraries. The municipality will continue to own the books and the lease, but the activity could be operated by private companies. Many are now worried that “commercial forces” will take over, and the Swedish Writers' Union objects to the plans. As for now there is one private library in Nacka.

Anti-Semitism on the rise among young.
A new study shows that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Sweden and that one out of twenty high school students is open to be influenced by the extreme right, a group that historically does best during times of recession. “It could be that our society is changing a lot right now, the social landscape is shifting. Groups in society are losing their former power, and the established parties seem empty of ideologies or cannot create a vision for the future,” says Heléne Lööw, historian and expert on Nazism. “When that happens, a space opens up.” The report, made by Forum, is called “The ambiguous intolerance,” and in it 4500 high school students answer questions about their attitude toward vulnerable minorities. It shows that the hot-bed for right-wing extremism is strong in Sweden. The tolerance of homosexuals is the highest measured group, and the tolerance has increased since the last report in 2003. Attitudes towards Romanis and Moslems haven’t much changed: Around 40 percent have a negative view of both, whereas around 10 percent have a very negative view of both these minorities. The attitude towards Jews has changed significantly for the worse, and anti-Semitism has increased: More than 25 percent have a negative attitude towards Jews, and 5 percent have a very negative attitude towards this particular minority.

Nobel belles
Seems Crown Princess Victoria stole the show at this year’s Nobel ceremony at Stockholm’s Stadshus. In a pale beige gown by an unknown designer (the royal court has not let out who the designer is, but it might have been Elie Saab, a current favorite of the Crown Princess) and with an intricate braided hairdo, the Crown Princess looked absolutely stunning, although the empire cut also incited speculation about a possible pregnancy. The most amazing part of the dress was actually the cut-out back. Victoria also wore the Napoleonic Cut-Steel Tiara (without any stones). Queen Silvia had chosen an emerald green dress (the last time she wore green for Nobel was in 1987) with flounces. Silvia wore the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure Tiara, showing that blue and green is a lovely mix. Another gown worth noting was the teal-colored dress worn by Philippa Reinfeldt, wife of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.