Shoppers urged to ‘buy Swedish’

Shoppers urged to 'buy Swedish'
Photo: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix; John McConnico/AP
The Swedish government has called on the nation's sense of patriotism and is advising consumers to "buy Swedish" this Christmas to protect jobs.

“If you open your Christmas present and it says ‘Made in China’ then you haven’t done much to secure Swedish jobs,” Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said according to a report in Aftonbladet.

The Swedish government announced on Friday that it plans to spend 23 billion kronor ($ 2.8 billion) over the next three years on increased support for the unemployed and more funding for high school and vocational training.

Measures included the re-introduction of a tax deduction for home improvements to boost the maintenance services sector among other initiatives as the government battles to ward off a deep recession.

The prime minister has now gone one step further and appealed to Christmas shoppers to do their patriotic duty and buy Swedish made goods this holiday season.

Measures to beat the feared slump have varied across the European Union as member countries oscillate between taking coordinated action to tackle the economic gloom and doom, and taking care of more national concerns.

Sweden’s plea for patriotic purchasing mirrors the call of the Irish government to its people.

The British government meanwhile decided last week to do its bit with the announcement of a temporary cut in sales taxes (VAT) in a bid to boost sagging demand.

Reinfeldt said on Friday that he is however not keen on hasty temporary measures that would then be retracted in a couple of years as the government resisted calls to raise child benefit to give families more spending power this Christmas.