Attention all obsessive internet pirates: If SOPA has you worried about your ability to continue to perform your pixelated perfidy, there’s one clear and unexpected solution to your problem: Move to Sweden, which has just recognized file-sharing as an official religion.
Well, to be exact, the Missionary Church of Kopimism has been recognized as an official religion.
The euro referendum has sharply divided Sweden, a country normally renowned for its consensus approach to politics. A survey last week by opinion research firm Sifo shows 47% of voters are against the euro and 41% in favor. But the momentum appears to be behind the yes camp, which has picked up a substantial seven percentage points in the last week.
Sweden is a northern European country that is seen by many people as a guardian of liberalism and tolerance. In elections held in September 2010, it became the latest European nation to see a breakthrough for populist right-wingers, when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won their first parliamentary seats in elections that failed to produce a clear outcome.
From trendy central Stockholm to this village in the rugged forest south of the Arctic Circle, 85 percent of Swedish fathers take parental leave. Those who don’t face questions from family, friends and colleagues. As other countries still tinker with maternity leave and women’s rights, Sweden may be a glimpse of the future.
In 1979, a few years before the Swanson family arrived, Sweden became the first country to ban physical punishment of children.
Since then, 30 more countries have passed bans on corporal punishment at home, and even more have banned it in schools, according to the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.
Drinking too much because it will cost you more than just a hangover. Alcohol is highly taxed in Sweden, with a glass of beer priced at around £8.
The lesson here for the Labour Party is bleak. The Swedish electorate's appetite for high levels of taxation to fund a generous welfare state has faded as immigration has increased and the country has become less homogeneous. The Social Democrats can no longer depend on the support of white working class voters who have become increasingly resentful of newly-arrived immigrants taking advantage of state handouts, particularly Muslims.
Sweden is a country of about 9.1 million people on the Scandinavian Peninsula of Northern Europe. Geographically, it is slightly larger than California. It is by any measure a first world country, with a labor force working primarily in industry or the service area, a GDP per capita of about $31,600 and an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent.
Ms. von der Leyen has looked to countries such as France and Sweden, with higher fertility rates and percentages of working moms, for policies to emulate. Sweden’s generous paternal leave policies have made it socially accepted for men to work less and share child-rearing duties with the mothers while high-quality, affordable childcare makes it easier for mothers to choose not to stay home.
Sweden has a longstanding reputation as an egalitarian country with a narrow gender gap. But a national debate about gender equality – particularly as it plays out in schools – has revealed substantial dissatisfaction, with some Swedes feeling it has gone too far. Rousing controversy now is the issue of gender pedagogy, a concept that emerged in the early 2000s and typically involves challenging gender stereotypes in learning material and in avoiding treating male and female pupils in a stereotypical manner.