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Introduction: A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both world wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003...

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Economic Overview: The Swedish economy is heavily dependent on a highly developed and internationally successful industrial sector, which was established in the early part of the 20th century through companies such as Ericsson, Asea, Astra, Alfa Laval, SKF, Electrolux, Volvo and SAAB, and now includes more recently established companies such as H&M and IKEA. However, many of the flagship companies are now totally or partially owned by foreign companies and shareholders. There have been several structural reforms since Sweden became a member of the EU such as the deregulation of the telecommunications, energy and air traffic sectors.

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History: During the seventh and eighth centuries, the Swedes were merchant seamen well known for their far-reaching trade. In the ninth century, Nordic Vikings raided and ravaged the European continent as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that later included Finland. Queen Margaret of Denmark united all the Nordic ...

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International Relations: Immigration

Today, approximately 18% of Sweden’s 9.3 million inhabitants are immigrants (first generation and second generation with two foreign-born parents). The immigrant community primarily comprises of nationals from Finland, Iraq, Somalia, former Yugoslavia, Poland, Iran and Germany. Sweden has one of the most generous asylum policies in the EU and recent years has shown a larger inflow of immigrants than ever before; during 2008, 90,021 individuals received residence permits or registered right of residence in Sweden and in 2009, 24,200 applied for asylum in Sweden. In general, foreign citizens may apply for ...

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(kr) Swedish Krona (SEK)
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