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Sweden NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2019 Google Inc.Wed, 16 Jan 2019 15:04:02 GMTGoogle News
Sweden Set to Get a Government This Week as Leftist Reined In  Bloomberg

Sweden's Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven is poised to win another four years in power after persuading the Left Party to stand aside, allowing his new ...

Four months of political deadlock in Sweden  Reuters

Sweden looks set this week to overcome four months of political deadlock following an inconclusive election after the Left Party said it would abstain in a vote on ...

Sweden to train 'cyber soldiers' during military service  The Local Sweden

The Swedish Armed Forces will increase the number of military conscripts from next year, and for the first time will train 'cyber soldiers' to defend the country from ...

The Local Sweden
Brits in Sweden 'could stay for one year' in event of no-deal Brexit  The Local Sweden

As British MPs vote on Tuesday on whether to back the prime minister's agreed deal for leaving the EU, Sweden has reportedly come up with a proposal on what ...

The Local Sweden
LIVE: Stefan Löfven set to be Swedish PM again after Left Party gives go-ahead  The Local Sweden

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has enough votes to become prime minister after the Left Party on Wednesday said it would abstain in a parliamentary ...

The Local Sweden
Swedes mostly negative towards proposed government deal: survey  The Local Sweden

The majority of Swedes are not in favour of a proposed government deal between four of Sweden's parties, according to a new survey.

The Local Sweden
What does Sweden's government deal mean for internationals in Sweden?  The Local Sweden

Four of Sweden's parties have announced a government deal which could help the country out of a months-long deadlock. The proposed agreement is a Social ...

The Local Sweden
Sweden honoured to face World Cup bound Banyana Banyana  Sport24

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis is elated to be facing two top European teams as her side begin preparations for the Women's World Cup.

Sweden's Blooming Wine Scene Is Challenged By Regulations More Than Climate  Forbes

Regulations should change now that Sweden's wine scene is booming.

Sweden as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Socialist Role Model  The Heartland Institute

The much maligned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have been on to something, although possibly inadvertently, in her interview January 6, 2019 with ...

The Heartland Institute
Eat Sweden: a journey through the 'edible country'  The Week UK

It was afternoon in October, and yet already as dark as night outside; the sun had abandoned us earlier in a blaze of royal red and pale pink in the South ...

The Week UK
NTR acquires wind portfolios in Sweden and Finland  Independent.ie

Sustainable infrastructure investor NTR has acquired portfolios in Sweden and Finland.

NTR to spend €180m on wind farms in Sweden and Finland  Siliconrepublic.com

Irish renewables investor NTR is to invest more than €180m in a portfolio of more than 200MW of onshore wind projects in Sweden and Finland.

Sweden reaches lowest unemployment rate in a decade  The Local Sweden

Sweden's unemployment rate has reached its lowest figure in ten years, data from the Public Employment *Service* shows.

The Local Sweden
'Stay off the road': spate of crashes in icy Sweden  The Local Sweden

Police in southern Sweden warned drivers to stay off the motorway after a spate of rush-hour accidents on icy roads.

The Local Sweden
Top North Korean diplomat coming to Sweden for talks: report  The Local Sweden

A top North Korean diplomat was travelling to Sweden on Tuesday, she told reporters, as speculation mounts over the next summit between the isolated state's ...

The Local Sweden
Tourists killed when truck crashes into minibus in Sweden  The Sydney Morning Herald

A mining company truck has crashed into a minibus in northern Sweden, and Swedish media are reporting that six people have died and one person is injured ...

The Sydney Morning Herald
Houthis Regret Accepting Sweden Agreement  Asharq Al-awsat English

The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen expressed on Tuesday their regret at accepting the conditions of the Sweden ceasefire deal on Hodeidah that was ...

Asharq Al-awsat English
Six Swiss nationals die in road crash in Sweden  The Local Sweden

Six Swiss nationals were killed in a road accident in Sweden's far north when the minibus they were in collided with a truck, Swedish police and Swiss officials ...

The Local Sweden
Grounded cargoship to be lightered off Sweden  TradeWinds

No pollution reported from Rix Emerald outside Landskrona.

Sweden Nears End to Gridlock After Deal Keeps Nationalists Out  Bloomberg

Sweden is nearing an end to a record-long political stalemate after Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven struck a deal across the aisle to remain in power and ...

Banyana and Sweden see Tuesday’s friendly as vital prep for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup  TimesLIVE

Both South Africa and Sweden see Tuesday's friendly international at the Cape Town Stadium as vital preparation for this year's FIFA Women's World Cup.

In Sweden, 70 percent tax rate is a given  Press Herald

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., would find herself at home in Stockholm. The newly minted lawmaker is proposing to lift the top marginal tax rate to 70 ...

Press Herald
Snow brings parts of Germany and Sweden to standstill  BBC News

Parts of Europe have been brought to a standstill as snow made driving conditions perilous.

BBC News
Gronholm gets Toyota WRC outing in Sweden  Motorsport.com, Edition: Global

Two-time World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm will return to the sport to drive a Toyota Yaris WRC in next month's Rally Sweden.

Motorsport.com, Edition: Global
Sweden Stunned to Hear of Famous Sportscaster's Arrest in South Florida  NBC 6 South Florida

He spent his life in front of the camera for Swedish public television, and now his viewers are stunned to hear of the accusations he is facing an ocean away in ...

NBC 6 South Florida
Sweden 'world's third most democratic country'  The Local Sweden

Sweden is the third most democratic country in the world, according to the latest edition of the Economist's Democracy Index.

The Local Sweden
Sweden’s Volvo invests in wireless vehicle charging company  Financial Times

Move comes amid a flurry of activity in electric vehicle industry.

Financial Times
Sweden issues licence threat over self-exclusion failings  iGaming Business

Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has warned it could rescind online gambling licences from operators that do not comply with the Spelpaus.se ...

iGaming Business
The sun has returned to Sweden's northernmost towns  The Local Sweden

Most of Sweden is currently grappling with below zero temperatures and bracing for strong winds, but in the north of the country there's reason to celebrate with ...

The Local Sweden
Dykande Måsen – Stockholm, Sweden  Atlas Obscura

Discover Dykande Måsen in Stockholm, Sweden: A concrete Picasso in the middle of a student housing complex on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Atlas Obscura
Sweden: Help Save the Internet from the Copyright Directive  EFF

On January 18, the EU's member state governments will decide whether to move forward the Copyright in the Single Digital Market Directive—a set of ...

For a Real-World Example of Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax Proposal, Look to Sweden  Bloomberg

U.S. Congresswoman and Bronx-native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would find herself at home in Stockholm. The newly minted lawmaker is proposing to lift the ...

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Will Let the Swedes Cook Up a Cultural Victory  Wccftech

Civilization VI recently announced its second full expansion, Gathering Storm, which focuses on the environment and diplomacy, and now they've revealed ...

No Ebola case in Sweden, test results show  The Local Sweden

A patient who was tested for suspected Ebola in Sweden on Friday is not suffering from the highly infectious disease, health officials said.

The Local Sweden
Sweden meets deadline to submit 2026 Winter Games hosting plan  CBC.ca

Sweden's Olympic leaders met a deadline Friday to submit a 2026 Winter Games hosting plan after satisfying concerns of lawmakers in Stockholm which ...

Could Annie Lööf become Sweden's first female prime minister?  The Guardian

As the Nordic country enters an unprecedented fifth month without a government, the leader of the Centre party is emerging as someone who could break the ...

The Guardian
Three charged with planning terror attack in Sweden  The Local Sweden

Sweden's prosecution authority said on Thursday it had charged three men with planning a terror attack in Sweden, warning the plot could have caused serious ...

The Local Sweden
Qatar eye top show against giants Sweden  The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar head coach Valero Rivera is hopeful that his side will give a good show against group leaders Sweden today in their fourth match at the IHF Men's World ...

The Peninsula Qatar
Who will be Sweden's next prime minister? Rivals make their final pitch  The Local Sweden

UPDATED: Sweden's search for a new government – four months after the election – is approaching the finishing line. But does that mean a new prime minister ...

The Local Sweden
How Sweden Overcame Socialism  The Wall Street Journal

It's a model for the U.S., but the lesson isn't what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez thinks it is.

The Wall Street Journal
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm - First Look: Sweden Video  IGN

Get a look at the Swedish civilization and its leader, Kristina, one of nine new leaders in the upcoming expansion. Civilization VI: Gathering Storm will be ...

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria dazzles in CAMO - and it's not her first time  Express

SWEDEN'S Crown Princess Victoria traded her amazing ball gowns for a military uniform - and it wasn't her first time in camouflage.

How France redistributes more from rich to poor than Sweden  The Economist

WHEN EMMANUEL MACRON launches his promised “great national debate” on January 15th, he hopes to show a willingness to listen to the popular rage ...

The Economist
Sweden's national bank warns of e-currency scam  The Local Sweden

False information about digital currency is being circulated online in Sweden, the country's central bank said on Monday.

The Local Sweden
What getting deported from Sweden (twice) taught me about life and business  The Local Sweden

Farzad Ban's life in Sweden has been a series of highs and lows. Despite growing up in the Nordic country and building two successful businesses, he is now ...

The Local Sweden
Three months after the election, here's why Sweden won't have a government for Christmas  The Telegraph

Over three months since its general election, Sweden is still unable to form a new government - so what are their options? So far, two candidates to lead the ...

The Telegraph
Rural Sweden is losing young people, but that's not the whole story  The Local Sweden

The departure of teenagers and people in their early twenties offers advantages for rural areas, argue Lapland researchers, who suggest out-migration is ...

The Local Sweden
Max Meltzer: Kambi – Respect the legacy… Delivering fresh prospects for ATG Sweden  SBC News

Max Meltzer Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of leading sports betting technology firm Kambi Group Plc, details his firm's comprehensive partnership with ...

SBC News
As cash goes extinct in Sweden, the church moves to adapt  Euronews English

Many banks and businesses in Sweden no longer accept cash and the church is adapting so that people can continue to donate.

Euronews English
China renews Sweden travel warning as diplomatic row continues  South China Morning Post

Beijing claims tourists have been involved in over 40 incidents in past three months and reissues warning citing 'security situation'

South China Morning Post
Satellite station in Sweden can be serving Chinese military  ScandAsia.com

A Swedish defence agency has warned that one of Chinese satellite stations located in Sweden could be serving the Chinese military. Officially known as the ...

Sweden’s MTG Secures $112 Million Credit Facility  Variety

Sweden's MTG has secured a €112 million credit facility to expand its digital activities after the split from NENT Group.

Why Your Next Safari Should Happen in Sweden (Yes, Sweden)  Robb Report

The remote forests of Sweden's Lapland are home to their fair share of year-round adventures. Here's a peek into some of the best.

Robb Report
PICS: Zulu Mkhathini spends time in snowy Sweden  Channel 24

While we're enjoying the summer sun in SA, muso Zulu Mkhathini (formerly known as Dash) is taking in the breathtaking sites of the winter wonderland that is ...

Channel 24
The best places to try winter sports in Sweden's two biggest cities  The Local Sweden

Thought winter in Sweden meant sitting inside all day, going into an artificial hibernation? Wrong. The colder months open new possibilities of sports and ...

The Local Sweden
How women and mums are working to make Sweden's suburbs safer  The Local Sweden

"I live here, I have lived here for years, and I want to make a difference," says 64-year-old Fatma Ipek, a mum of seven who spends her weekend evenings ...

The Local Sweden
Police start enforcing Sweden's first begging ban  The Local Sweden

Police in the Malmö commuter town of Vellinge have started cracking down on beggars, a fortnight after Sweden's top administrative court said its begging ban ...

The Local Sweden
Hitman developer IO Interactive opens office in Sweden  PC Games Insider

Danish studio IO Interactive has opened a new outfit in Malmö, Sweden. This office is already up and running, and will be working closely with the company's ...

PC Games Insider
Sweden's Dark Soul by Kajsa Norman review – 'far from a utopia'  The Guardian

A journalist becomes disillusioned with her country following the cover-up of sexual assaults at a Stockholm music festival.

The Guardian
RBC I&TS Extends Position In Sweden Following Appointment By Nordea Markets  Exchange News Direct

RBC Investor & Treasury Services, part of Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE), today announced that it has been appointed by Nordea Markets to ...

Exchange News Direct
Viktor Gyokeres scores on first Sweden start  The Argus

Viktor Gyokeres scored on his first start for Sweden.

The Argus
Tiger of Sweden Fall 2019 Menswear Collection  Vogue.com

Tiger of Sweden Fall 2019 Menswear collection, runway looks, beauty, models, and reviews.

Sweden's 'male-free' music festival found guilty of discrimination  Fox News

The Statement Festival, a women-only musical event in Sweden, was found guilty of gender discrimination.

Fox News
man told can't use 'Christ,' 'Jesus' on Sweden license plate, could 'cause offense'  The Christian Post

Swedish officials blocked a Christian man's request to include the words “Christ” or “Jesus” on his license plate, claiming the move could “cause offense” to ...

The Christian Post
Sweden Isn’t Socialist  Daily Signal

For years, I've heard American leftists say Sweden is proof that socialism works, that it doesn't have to turn out as badly as the Soviet Union or Cuba or ...

Daily Signal
Sweden CRISIS: EU state preparing for chaos in 2019 as mainstream parties shun populists  Express.co.uk

SWEDEN will go into 2019 in political turmoil after ending the year without a government and could face a re-run of September's fraught general election.

Sweden's Goteborg Film Festival Unveils Gender Neutral Acting Award  Hollywood Reporter

Goteborg's Best Acting Dragon Award will go to the best performance by an actor or actress in the Swedish festival's Nordic Competition section.

Hollywood Reporter
HSB Paternoster lift – Kungsholmen, Sweden  Atlas Obscura

The elevator inside the HSB main office has been running since the 1950s.

Atlas Obscura
Sweden's 'man-free' festival was discriminatory, rules Swedish ombudsman  The Local Sweden

Describing an event as 'man-free' is discriminatory, according to a ruling from Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) relating to a music festival aimed at ...

The Local Sweden
Microchip implants for currency takes off in Sweden  WATE 6 On Your Side

Many of us have a wallet full of cards: credit, debit and membership cards, so how about keeping up with all the information by having a microchip inside your ...

WATE 6 On Your Side
What Sweden’s interest-rate hike means for the European Central Bank’s 2019 path  MarketWatch

Sweden's Riksbank raises interest rates for the first time in 7 years on Thursday, stoking a rally in the Swedish krona. But it isn't just good news for the ...

Stakelogic Sweden premier aided by Videoslots deal  World Casino Directory

Malta-headquartered developer of state-of-the-art online casino games, Stakelogic, has introduced its innovative slots offering to players in Sweden after the ...

World Casino Directory
Sweden’s Parallel Society  National Review

I don't go to those places without security,” a Swedish journalist tells me when I ask whether she would accompany me to some of her country's “especially ...

National Review
US Tops Sweden, 2-0, in Final Preliminary Round Contest  USA Hockey

The United States Under-18 Women's National Team closed preliminary round play Wednesday night at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship ...

USA Hockey
American whistleblower wins Sweden's Olof Palme Prize  The Local Sweden

American military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the US government's secret war plans for Vietnam in 1971, is set to receive Sweden's prestigious Olof ...

The Local Sweden
Early projections for Team Sweden's World Cup of Hockey...  The Athletic

Scott Burnside and The Athletic crew project what a younger Team Sweden might look like at the 2020 World Cup of Hockey.

The Athletic
New business aims to mend broken family trees, from Sweden to Minnesota  Star Tribune

Magnus Rydholm and Kris Overby recently flew from Stockholm to the Twin Cities, eager to launch a new business with a peculiarly Minnesota bent: connecting ...

Star Tribune
Floathub Project Takes Aim at Sweden's Housing Crisis  ArchDaily

Architect Daniela Lamartine has designed a floating community to address Sweden's national housing crisis. Called Floathub, the project creates a new mobile ...

Bet365 claimed top int'l honors in Sweden's 2018 gambling market  CalvinAyre.com

Sweden's gambling participation rate held steady in 2018 after four straight years of annual declines, while the UK's Bet365 claimed the international online ...

WJC: Sweden beats USA in OT while Canada rolls over Czechia  Pension Plan Puppets

Day 4 went mostly to script. That story and the schedule for the rest of the preliminary round is here for you.

Pension Plan Puppets
Sweden's Museum of Failure and the Trump board game  The Local Sweden

Sweden's famous Museum of Failure is upping sticks to move to Shanghai after closing on Saturday. Here's a feature from when it was still open.

The Local Sweden
Man sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for Sweden fatal crash  13WHAM-TV

Rochester/Sweden, N. Y. (WHAM) - The man who was drunk when he crashed into two cars near the Brockport Walmart last April and killed an elderly woman ...

Sweden's ICEHOTEL opens for 2018/2019  CNN

The wintriest of winter getaways is back for the 2018/2019 season. The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is opening its frosty doors as the annual Arctic deep ...

Sweden Has a 70% Tax Rate and It's Just Fine  Jacobin magazine

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's suggested 70 percent marginal tax rate has conservatives and centrists freaking out. But Sweden shows that soaking the rich is the ...

Jacobin magazine
Retail Confidence Declines In Sweden In January | ESM Magazine  ESM - The European Supermarket Magazine

Svensk Handel, the group that represents the retail sector in Sweden, has said that retail confidence has declined in January, with a barometer measuring future ...

ESM - The European Supermarket Magazine
Ikea launches braided MFi Lightning cable in Sweden for $9, US plans unclear  9to5Mac

Ikea is out with another Apple accessory, this time a braided nylon MFi Lightning cable at an affordable price. This latest release comes after news about the ...

Future Queen! Princess Estelle Checks Out the Family's Crowns with Mom Princess Victoria  PEOPLE.com

Princess Estelle is getting a royal history lesson! Sweden's royal family's social media accounts shared photos of the 6-year-old princess, who is second in line to ...

Hamlin man sentenced in fatal crash near Sweden Walmart  Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

William Kleisle was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after driving drunk and killing 84-year-old Mary Beh last year, prosecutors said.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
'We Say No to Everything That Has Any Religious Connotations': Sweden Bans Christian Messages  CBN News

A country whose flag includes a golden cross is saying no to God more and more. Swedish officials now admit they're taking intentional steps to limit ...

CBN News
Tham & Videgård Arkitekter unveils plans for prefabricated Vertical Village II in Sweden  Dezeen

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter has revealed designs for a prefabricated housing scheme in Gothenburg, Sweden, which aims to be an alternative to traditional ...

Black Death plague strain FOUND in Sweden: Remains reveal Black Death originated in EUROPE  Express.co.uk

A BLACK plague strain has been found in DNA extracted from almost 5000-year-old human remains in Sweden.

#SwedishChristmas: Sweden's favourite Christmas film - The Local  The Local Sweden

Ingmar Bergman's 1982 film, Fanny and Alexander, is one of Sweden's more modern and, some might say, unorthodox Christmas traditions. Photo: SF.

The Local Sweden
Inside Sweden's incredible Icehotel  Stuff.co.nz

The Swedish seasonal wonder opens for business again with more elaborate designs than ever.

Video: Making the Most of 4 Hours of Daylight in Sweden  Pinkbike.com

Before the real winter hit Åre we were battling to keep up with the few hours of light. This is the outcome of one day filming with only four hours of daylight.

World’s First Offshore Wind Repowering Completed in Sweden  Greentech Media News

Lessons learned from a five-turbine project could influence efforts to repower much larger offshore projects in the future.

Greentech Media News
Sweden's ill-fated Christmas goat survives again  The Local Sweden

Sweden's Christmas straw goat has survived this festive season for the second year running, bucking an unofficial (and indeed illegal) tradition of arsonists ...

The Local Sweden
Sweden’s Central Bank Warns of Scammers Selling National Cryptocurrency 'e-krona'  CCN

Sweden's reserve bank has warned that the individuals and firms purporting to sell the electronic version of the national currency, the e-krona, are fraudsters as ...

Latvian freighter aground, Oresund, Sweden  Maritime Bulletin

General cargo ship RIX EMERALD ran aground on Landskrona approach, Oresund, Sweden, at around 0545 UTC Jan 15, on arrival from Aarhus Denmark.

Maritime Bulletin
What to expect at Sweden's Icehotel for 2019  Evening Standard

It's minus five but I'm dripping with sweat as I chip, chip, chip away at my clear block — a cube that is (hopefully) looking more and more like a bird as time ticks ...

Evening Standard

Sweden Videos

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm - First Look: Sweden
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm - First Look: Sweden
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Sweden
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Sweden
10 things Americans HATE about Sweden! (especially #5!)
10 things Americans HATE about Sweden! (especially #5!)
Living and working in Sweden 1.0
Living and working in Sweden 1.0
Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives? - BBC Newsnight
Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives? - BBC Newsnight
11 Amazing Facts About Sweden
11 Amazing Facts About Sweden
Sweden Analysis and First Impression - Civilization VI: Gathering Storm
Sweden Analysis and First Impression - Civilization VI: Gathering Storm
What Living In Sweden Is REALLY Like
What Living In Sweden Is REALLY Like
स्वीडन खतरनाक भेड़ियों का देश // Sweden a amazing country
स्वीडन खतरनाक भेड़ियों का देश // Sweden a amazing country
INDIA or SWEDEN - Which Country is Better?
INDIA or SWEDEN - Which Country is Better?

Sweden Images

Icehotel corridor, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden | Flickr - Photo ...
Icehotel corridor, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden | Flickr - Photo ...
Sweden government debt vs. Euro area
Sweden government debt vs. Euro area
Fedingesjön | A small lake in Skånes Fagerhult, Skåne ...
Fedingesjön | A small lake in Skånes Fagerhult, Skåne ...
October Calender 2008 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
October Calender 2008 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Nobel Laureate Elizabeth H. Blackburn (Medicine) 2 ...
Nobel Laureate Elizabeth H. Blackburn (Medicine) 2 ...
Youth / Killing Joke | Killing Joke, performing live at ...
Youth / Killing Joke | Killing Joke, performing live at ...
Saab Viggen
Saab Viggen
Svangren of Sweden
Svangren of Sweden
M/T Tellus
M/T Tellus

Sweden WebSites


Sweden Wiki

Sweden (Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige ), is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in general very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers. Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, which is also the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture, finances and languages. This led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and eventually the Swedish Empire was formed. This became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO.After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. It has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks highly in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.