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Protest Rallies Staged All Over Sweden

Published torsdag 14 december 2006 kl 13.14

Sweden’s largest trade union confederation, LO, staged demonstrations in towns and cities all over Sweden on Thursday in protest against the government’s plan to raise premiums for unemployment insurance while decreasing payouts to the jobless.

The demonstrations took place in 40 different locations, one week before members of parliament vote on the government’s proposal on December the 20th.

Union members from the construction, retail, municipal workers’ sector were among those taking part.

”We are here to combat the prospect of deteriorated unemployment insurance at all costs,” the head of LO, Wanja Lundby-Wedin, said.

”Everyone will be affected (by the proposal), the jobless of course but it will also lead to pressure on wages for all employees,” she said.

As the government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt holds a majority in parliament the proposal is expected to pass. The new law will go into effect on January 1, though the decreased payouts will only take effect in March.

Reinfeldt’s government has made it a top priority to reduce the generous subsidies to give Swedes more incentive to work.

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