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AFGHANISTAN

Support grows for Afghanistan troops

Support for the military operation in Afghanistan has increased strongly since the death of two Swedish officers and a local interpreter on February 7th, according to a new poll by Synovate, published by Sveriges Television (SVT) on Tuesday.

Support grows for Afghanistan troops

According to the poll, 48 percent are now in favour of Sweden’s participation in the UN operation in Afghanistan, with those against dropping to 26 percent.

When SVT Rapport/Synovate conducted a similar survey at the end of October, 34 percent of Swedes were in favour of the troops deployment, while 37 percent were against.

The new survey has been carried out during the past week, following the extensive coverage given to the killing of 28-year-old Captain Johan Palmlöv and 31-year-old Lieutenant Gunnar Andersson near Mazar-e Sharif last Sunday.

“I think the very tragic events we have witnessed have deepened the feeling among the Swedish people over both the seriousness and the necessity for our deployment,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told the SVT Rapport news programme on Tuesday evening.

The new poll indicates that even among Left Party voters, the only parliamentary party openly opposed to the Afghanistan operation, support for the troops involvement has increased dramatically.

In October, only 18 percent of Left Party voters were in favour of the operation but in the new poll 42 percent backed it; although 43 percent remained opposed.

Among voters for the centre-right parties, support has increased – from 42 to 63 percent.

The only voter group which has not changed position on the issue are those backing the Green Party, with 27 percent in favour and 45 percent against – the same figures as in the previous poll.

Synovate interviewed 1,000 Swedes during the course of last week and asked: “Are you for or against Sweden’s participation in the UN’s military operation in Afghanistan?”

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CHRISTMAS

What surprising Swedish fact do you want us to explain in our Christmas calendar?

To celebrate the festive season, The Local Sweden will be producing an advent calendar with special content each day of December, up until Christmas. We let readers decide the theme of the calendar, and now we would like to offer you the chance to pick the articles.

What surprising Swedish fact do you want us to explain in our Christmas calendar?
Whether your question is about weird Swedish Christmas traditions or something else entirely, let us know. Photo: Magnus Carlsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Last year, our #SwedishChristmas series, written by contributor Victoria Martínez for The Local's Members, explored the history behind a different Swedish festive tradition each day. Lots of you got in touch to say you enjoyed the series, so we're doing it again – and this year we let you choose what we write about.

In polls on Twitter and Facebook, we let readers choose between three different options that you wanted to read about this December: surprising facts about Sweden, famous Swedes, or Swedish sayings explained.

Surprising facts about Sweden came out top in a narrow victory over Swedish sayings explained.

Now, we are taking it one step further by offering you the chance to let us know which facts about Sweden you would like us to explain in this year's calendar. Feel free to keep them festive, but they don't all have to be Christmas-related. We would love to be able to give you a good mix of different articles next month.

We are keeping this form open to everyone, so that you all get the chance to vote even if you have not yet decided to upgrade to full Membership of The Local. But the final series of articles will be for Members only.

We probably won't be able to include all questions, but we will try to answer as many as possible.

Please vote by filling out the form below or email us. And if you have further thoughts on the kind of articles you would like to see us do more (or less) of on The Local, you're are also always welcome to get in touch.

Best regards,

Emma Löfgren
Editor, The Local Sweden

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