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Witches help lift Sweden's job loss curse

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Witches help lift Sweden's job loss curse
12:41 CET+01:00
An enterprising Swedish company seeking to hire 20 witches has provided a welcome break in the country's otherwise steady flow of dismal employment news.

Häxriket i Norden, based in Åhus in southern Sweden, is currently seeking to place five witches each in four separate locations around the country, the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper reports.

According to the company's advertisement on a listing maintained by Sweden's Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen), qualified candidates should be well-versed in “contact with the other side, runes, tarots, crystals, herbs, rituals, exorcism, meditation, personal coaching, and more”.

The job also requires having a fixed telephone line and an internet connection, as most of Häxriket's services are delivered online or over the phone at a cost of 19.90 kronor ($2.45) per minute.

The sudden wave of new hires comes following an internal shake up at the company in which a number of Häxriket's former witches were let go for violating the telemarketing ethics code put in place by the Etiska Rådet för Betalteletjänster (‘Trade Ethical Council for Telemarketing') – ERB.

ERB was created in 1994 to develop rules governing a variety of telemarketing services and associated fees and includes representatives from Sweden's major telecommunications operators

“We've really cleaned house,” said Qinna Blomgren, who refers to herself as the "top witch" and is partial owner of Häxriket, to the newspaper.

“In order to work with us you don't only need to have certain skills, but you also have to be serious and prepared to continually develop. We have a responsibility to our customers, and therefore our witches go through an employment exam so that we can see that they really can do what they say they can.”

Blomgren is quick to dismiss critics who question the legitimacy of Häxriket's operations.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If I like cinnamon buns with cardamom, it doesn't mean that I can claim it's the only correct path,” she said.

And representatives from Arbetsförmedlingen agree. While the agency reserves the right to refuse to post what it considers to be offensive or inappropriate job announcements, it chose to reserve judgment in the case of Häxriket's witch recruitment drive.

“When it comes to the type of activities described in the announcement, with cards, and crystal and the like, it has a lot to do with what each individual believes, and that isn't something about which we can have an opinion,” said Arbetsförmedlingen's Britt-Marie Grahn to the paper.

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