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WEALTH

Millionaires: Swedes ‘don’t work hard enough’

Swedes do not work hard enough - at least in the eyes of many millionaires. But the well-off readers of Connoisseur magazine do not consider that they themselves work too little.

In a survey of 1,100 Connoisseur readers, 43 percent said that in general Swedes worked too little. 42 percent thought the country was hard-working enough. Only 16 percent thought Swedes worked too much.

Connoisseur magazine is distributed for free to everyone in Sweden who declares an income over 1.1 million kronor a year or who has a declared net worth of at least 5 million kronor ($790,000).

The millionaires claim to be a hard-working bunch. 33 percent say they work 41-50 hours a week, with 22 percent working 51-60 hours. 11 percent say they work more than 61 hours per week. On top of their regular hours, 86 percent claim to be reachable for work even during their free time.

Despite this, only 35 percent said they wanted to work less, with 60 percent saying their hours were about long enough.

On matters of politics, the well-off respondents were supportive of Fredrik Reinfeldt’s centre-right government. Nearly half (48 percent) said the climate for companies in Sweden had improved since the government came to power.

Some 89 percent approved of the decision to raise tax on tobacco, 90 percent were in favour of changes to property tax, 74 percent applauded the government for raising fees for membership of unemployment insurance schemes.

Looking to the future, most of those asked (62 percent) said the US mortgage crisis would not affect the Swedish economy to a great extent. 52 percent thought that growth would be unchanged during the autumn, with 16 percent expecting rising growth and 32 percent expecting falling growth.

EUROPEAN UNION

Stockholm in top ten of EU’s richest regions

Stockholm has been named among the top ten richest regions in the European Union according to a new study published in the Svenska Dagbladet daily on Sunday.

Stockholm in top ten of EU's richest regions

The list, by EU statistics body Eurostat, is calculated based on GDP figures from 2010, with an index based on the union average of €24,500 ($31,800) and adjusted for purchasing power parity.

Stockholm is the only Nordic city claiming a place in the top ten, coming in ninth on 168 percent of the EU average.

Furthermore wealth in Sweden is more evenly distributed than in many other EU countries, with regions in northern Sweden as wealthy as southern Sweden (107 percent).

Western Sweden meanwhile has an indexed score of 117 percent.

The Eurostat list is topped by inner-city London with 338 percent, Luxembourg with 266 percent and Brussels with 223 percent.

Copenhagen and Helsinki make the top twenty, at 15th and 17th, with 157 and 154 percent respectively.

The contrast between wealthy northern European cities and their southern and eastern European counterparts is stark.

Romania and Bulgarian remained the poorest countries in the European Union with 47 and 44 percent respectively.

As the statistics are based on GDP figures from 2010 there will have been some changes however, with Cyprus for example still doing fairly well in the report with a GDP at 97 percent of the European Union average.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter here.

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