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Beautiful Fall in Sweden, 2015

Everybody says that Sweden has one of the highest income taxes in the world and is one of the most expensive countries to live in. I experienced it first hand when I bought a few things from a small mart. I ended up paying a lot more than I usually did in Singapore. =)  But, I am sure that if you live and work here, your salary will be able to match with the extremely high cost of living here as well.

Though it is not my first time to this nordic country, it is always a surprise to see things I do not normally do back in Cambodia or Singapore. It is widely known online and offline that Sweden has maintained a Nordic social welfare system which provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. As the world’s eight-highest per capita income, it ranks highly in various metrics of national performance in quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.

And, who loves to hear about the Swedish Vikings? Me? Yes.

While its political rule has been pretty much done by the Swedish Social Democrat Party, “John Fredrik Reinfeldt”, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, has done fascinating things I would not imagine a post-industrial country like Sweden would do. His government focused on calls for tax cuts on low-income and high income groups (not necessarily the high income groups). He also appeared to be less forceful in terms of criticising the welfare state but proposed reforms to Sweden’s welfare state to get some people off the welfare and go back to work!To fine-tune the welfare state of his country, he believes part of dismantling large portions of it comes must come from the bottom up. Reading a lot of information about him and his rule makes me question how (long) Sweden can maintain his high social welfare status.

Of course, missing Singapore while writing this.

 

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Meet Marinela Gremi from Albania.
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Meet Brenda Zulu from Zambia. Mama Brenda Nglazi Zulu from Zambia and I met for the first time in Washington DC (2010), Ethiopia (2011), Qatar (2011), South Africa (2012), Germany (2012), and here we are in Sweden together. Some friends are forever. #journalism #peeps #africa #asia
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Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old City
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Well, you know its a very expensive country, but this one is pretty to look at. =)
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Its less than 10 degrees C.
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It’s time to reflect.
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This gentleman works for the City Hall, and he’s definitely not a low-ranking officer.
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The girl and her obsession with autumn colours

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