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Swedes think highly of the government -- but not of the royal family

Swedes feel that their Government has managed the financial crisis quite well. But their confidence in the royal family has dwindled. These are two of the findings presented in a new report by the SOM institute at the University of Gothenburg.

In spite of what may be the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, Swedes' faith in the Government increased in 2009. This is revealed in a new SOM report presented Tuesday at a seminar at the University of Gothenburg. An estimated 42 percent of all Swedes have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the work of their Government. Besides strong support among individuals who voted for one of the current Government parties in the last election, it turns out that Green Party sympathisers also feel that the Government is doing well.

Swedes' faith in Riksbanken (the national bank) has also grown stronger during the crisis, while their confidence in commercial banks has gone down.

The health care system, higher education institutions, the police and Riksbanken earn the highest trust scores, while the European Parliament, union organisations and the European Commission are found at the other end. The top and bottom of the list have looked pretty much the same ever since the SOM surveys started in the mid-1980s.

Yet, the confidence in the royal family has decreased significantly since the late 1990s, and so has the share of the population who want to keep the monarchy from 68 percent in 2003 to 56 percent in 2009.

Even if the crisis has not affected people's faith in the Government at least not negatively it does seem to have affected people's willingness to use tax money to aid developing countries. Forty-seven percent of the population were positive to Swedish development aid in 2007. In 2009, only 36 percent felt this way.

An increasing number of Swedes see employment as the most important social issue. Twenty-two percent felt this way in 2007, while 37 percent did in 2009.


Contact: Henrik Axlid
University of Gothenburg

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