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Swedes back return to state railway monopoly

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Photo: TT
08:41 CEST+02:00
Some 70 percent of Swedes back the reintroduction of a state railway monopoly, while a majority remain supportive of market liberalization and increased competition in general, according to a new survey.
A re-nationalization of the railways is in particular supported by senior citizens, men and those living in the north, according  to the survey by Novus and presented by researchers Jenny Björkman and Bjorn Fjæstad in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Saturday. 
 
The researchers asked 1,017 people (with a response rate of 57 percent) about their views on the recent decades of market liberalization and increased consumer choice.
 
The de-regulated pharmacy market is a second area which is poorly supported with 44 percent responding that the situation had become worse for consumers, compared to 24 percent who see improvement.
 
Some 60 percent were opposed to profit-making companies being allowed to run hospitals in Sweden, while a third were in favour. This is the issue which is most divisive among the Swedish public, the researchers concluded.
 
Market-based housing rents were however backed by more than half of those responding despite the fact that no party advocates a full liberalization of the market.
 
Generally speaking, increased consumer choice is supported by Swedes, particularly in areas such as telecoms and electric utilities. Some 55 percent back the changes, while 27 percent said they were opposed.
 
Some 60 percent of those who responded to the survey also believe that it is the players themselves who have primary responsibility for gambling, while 26 percent put the responsibility with gaming companies.

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A clear majority of 60 percent are in favour of permitting grocery stores to sell wine, while retaining age limits. Those who back Alliance parties are more likely to be in favour of more liberal alcohol retail policies than those supporting parties on the left, with 71 percent to 49 percent support respectively.
 
The full results of the research survey will be presented in Riksbankens Cercentenary Fund Yearbook 2014/15 entitled "All these markets", and due for publication on June 19th.

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