Watch the PM talk to people calling 'The Swedish Number'
Emma Löfgren · 15 Apr 2016, 14:36
Published: 15 Apr 2016 11:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Apr 2016 14:36 GMT+02:00
- Americans put Sweden's new phone number on speed dial (13 Apr 16)
- World goes nuts for 'lonely' Swedish PM pics (12 Jan 16)
Sweden has grabbed global headlines over its decision to create 'The Swedish Number', which transfers callers to a random Swede answering pretty much any question about Scandinavia.
And now, it seems, there is a chance you could end up chatting to the leader of the Nordic nation himself. In the video below, Stefan Löfven is seen answering calls from people across the world.
"Hi, I'm Stefan, I'm the Prime Minister of Sweden," he introduces himself to one.
"What, are you serious?" says the shocked voice at the other end of the line.
Another caller demands proof: "How do I know you're really the Swedish prime minister?"
"Well… I believe you have to trust me," says Löfven, smiling at the camera, before politely saying to another, who possibly got the two Scandinavian nations mixed up, "Norway is also a very nice country, yes."
When The Local first wrote about 'The Swedish Number' after it launched last week, the Swedish Tourism Association told us 530 people had then volunteered to pick up the phone. Since then it has grown exponentially, with around 17,000 Swedes having downloaded the app so far.
And the leader of the centre-left Social Democrat party said he enjoyed the experience.
"It was great to answer on behalf of Sweden. To me it was natural to help draw attention to Sweden as a tourist destination. Tourism is extremely important to us and the goal is for more people to discover everything Sweden has to offer," said Löfven in a statement.
"We are struck by the great number of people who have engaged in this project. There have been calls from all over the world and Swedes have answered and acted as ambassadors in an exemplary manner. That the Prime Minister too has taken calls of course feels especially good," said Magnus Lind, general secretary and CEO of the tourism association.
READ ALSO: The Local tries calling 'The Swedish Number'
Since the project launched, tens of thousands of phonecalls have been made from a total of around 170 countries. Americans seem most obsessed with the concept, making 38 percent of the calls. Swedophile Brits come in second place with a much smaller eight percent, followed by Turkey, the Netherlands, China, Australia and Russia.
Plenty of The Local's readers have also been in touch to say they've tried the number.
"I got a girl from Gothenburg and I asked her about how dangerous elk are," said one follower in France.
"I asked: 'What should you do if you run into an elk'?...'Well I would probably panic and run away', she replied".