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Norwegian money wash Sweden clean but some Norwegians are not happy

Tuesday, 06 March 2012
The Norwegians have money but they have limited stuff to buy in Norway. So when they come closer to the Swedish border, they are not shy. They show the money and they can buy whatever they want.

For this reason, the Norwegian—Swedish border trade increased last year by 9 percent, according to new statistics Norwegian Statistic Central (SSB).

The Norwegians spent almost Skr14 billion for day trips to other countries referring to Sweden where some 94 percent of border trade took place in Sweden.

It worries Norwegian industry associations because six percent of the total Norwegian food and beverage trade has now moved over to Sweden. Norwegian companies are losing as well as the Norwegian state.

Border trade affects Norwegian employment negatively and the Norwegian State the equivalent of almost Skr 3 billion last year in taxes and fees.
"It's very much. We are concerned because this is a turnover of what Norwegian traders lose. They and their subcontractors are losing many jobs, "said Thomas Angell of the trade organization Virke Handel.

52 percent of border trade takes place in Strömstad and Svinesund in Bohuslän on the Swedish side of the border. In Charlottenberg and Arvika, in Värmland there is some 19 percent of trade with Norwegians accounted in business operations there.

The Norwegian right wing party Progress Party is making it a political issue ands would want to open up a debate on the issue in the Storting, the Norwegian parliament.
"We need a debate, "said the party's finance policy spokesman Ketil Solvik Olsen.

SSB's figures show that it is not necessarily cheaper alcohol that attracts Norwegians to the east. The Swedish monopoly that retain alcohol, Systembolaget say its alcohol sales along the Norwegian border increased only by a modest 0.6 percent, compared to the total border trade which increased by nine percent.

But the small increase has still ignited reaction from people such as Sten Magne Berglund for the key organizations and cooperation body, Actis. He points out that the Norwegian government has increased alcohol taxes and charges in 2011, while prices stood still in Sweden.
In addition, he says that the Norwegian butter crisis before Christmas may have affected the statistics.
By Team

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