Sweden is a north European country between Norway on the west and Finland on the east. Although armed, Sweden is a neutral country and has kept out of wars for nearly two centuries. It is not a member of NATO. The country has low unemployment, a high life expectancy, and a high standard of living - credit being given to a blending of socialism and capitalism. Advanced social programs are financed with high taxes.  
The BBC says of the media, "Swedish audiences enjoy a wide variety of public and commercial broadcast services, though until relatively recently public TV and radio, funded by a licence fee, had a near-monopoly of the airwaves.
"Most Swedish households take a daily newspaper and the country is among the top consumers of newspapers in the world. Many titles have a regional readership. The government subsidises newspapers regardless of their political affiliation." 
Tobacco industry information
A 1987 Philip Morris strategy report for the Nordic area outlines PM's comprehensive corporate plan to attack the secondhand smoke issue in northern Europe. Aimed at reversing the declining social acceptability of smoking in the Nordic area, the plan includes crafting a "second opinion" about the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS, "building smokers' self-esteem," creating an "airline milieu" to use as a venue for offering their own information, putting on "healthy building seminars" using Gray Robertson's company, Air Conditioning and Ventilation Atlantic or ACVA Atlantic (which later became Healthy Buildings International, after Philip Morris took it over) and an extensive media plan aimed at assuring that PM's point of view stretched to reach virtually every citizen of northern Europe -- without anyone realizing the point of view emanated from PM. The entire document offers significant detail about PM's wide-ranging battle tactics to fight public health measures. Their plans even includes a diversionary "white-hat" proposal for currying favor among Nordic-area politicians while they clandestinely fight pro-health legislation: "Prepare plan for approaching other issues in society (AIDS, traffic, etc.), offering statistical material and helping them to get more funds for their projects."). One very telling line from the document is listed under "Tactics." It states, "4. Build IAQ [indoor air quality] industry and science without visible tobacco industry presence."
Project Rostock was an internal Philip Morris project that took place in Sweden circa 1995 that sought to examine what PM referred to as the "roots of neointolerance." The project was in response to proposed clean indoor air laws that would restrict smoking in public places. It attempted to answer the question of whether intolerance grows in a society that institutes sanctions against what PM called "limited types of segregation, like curtailing smokers rights." The idea was that if the project did in fact reveal a growth in social intolerance post-smoking bans, the company could compile this information and distribute it in other markets to help head off similar restrictions elsewhere.
See also information on Swedish tobacco industry consultant Torbjorn Malmfors.
Notable Swedish citizens
- Carl Bildt, conservative, prime minister 1991-1994, UN peace coordinator in former Jugoslavia
- Hans Blix, UNMOVIC weapons inspector in Iraq 2000-2003, IAEA secretary general 1981-1997
- Rolf Ekeus, UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq 1991-1998
- Dag HammarskjÃ¶ld, UN secretary general 1953-1961
- Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize
- Jan Nyberg, suspected source of disinformation, 2003
- Olof Palme, social democrat, prime minister 1969-1976 and 1982-1986, murdered in 1986
- Göran Persson, social democrat, prime minister 1996-
Brief modern political history
- September 14, 2003, Sweden's sixth referendum asks whether Sweden should join the 3rd stage of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and replace the national currency (krona, SEK) with the euro. See also Jan Nyberg. In a high 81.2% turnout, 56.2% of the given votes say no to the euro, only 41.8% yes, and 2.1% are blank votes.
- September 11, 2003, Sweden's foreign minister Anna Lindh dies in hospital after having been attacked by a man and severely stabbed with a knife while shopping with a friend in downtown Stockholm the afternoon before. Days later the murderer was still at large. Lindh was not followed by a bodyguard, since no threats were known. Lindh was fronting the yes to euro campaign before the referendum (see above).
- 1998, Sweden's parliamentary election term is changed from three years to four years. Parliamentary elections are held on the third Sunday of September in 1998, 2002, etc.
- November 13, 1994, Sweden's fifth referendum asks whether to join the European Union. 52% of voters say yes, and Sweden joins the EU in 1995, together with Finland and Austria.
- February 28, 1986, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, social democrat, is shot dead on a street in Stockholm while walking home with his wife from a cinema. The assassin is never found.
- March 23, 1980, Sweden's fourth referendum asks whether to keep or abandon nuclear power. Just after the Harrisburg melt-down, the popular opinion to abandon nuclear power is strong, but the three alternatives (yes, no, and maybe) blur the issue. The resolution is to slowly abandon nuclear energy within a 25 to 30 year period. As the goal year 2010 is approaching, it is uncertain whether the resolution is still binding.
- 1976, a coalition of three non-socialist parties wins the parliamentary elections, headed by prime minister TorbjÃ¶rn FÃ¤lldin, center party (formerly the farmers union). The social democrats are in opposition for the first time in 40 years.
- 1974, Sweden's current constitution is adopted, further reducing the political role of the royal family.
- 1971, Sweden's parliament changes from two chambers to a single one.
- October 13, 1957, Sweden's third referendum asks whether to introduce a new national retirement plan. Three alternatives get 45, 15, and 35 percents of the votes, respectively. The new plan is introduced.
- October 16, 1955, Sweden's second referendum asks whether driving on the left side of the road should change to the right side. Swedish cars have the steering wheel on the left (like the USA and Germany) but drive on the left side of the road (like Britain). The voters are 83% for keeping driving on the left side. In 1967 the parliament decides to introduce right hand side driving despite the referendum. Traffic accidents drop significantly.
- 1939-1945, Sweden stays neutral in World War II. Finland is attacked by the Soviet Union, but successfully defends its independence. Norway and Denmark are occupied by Nazi Germany.
- August 27, 1922, Sweden's first referendum ever is on the prohibition of alcohol. The votes fall 49% pro prohibition, 51% against. Sweden does not prohibit alcohol, but introduces a coupon system ("motbok"). The coupon system is abandoned after world war II, but a state sales monopoly is maintained.
- 1921, voting rights are extended to women.
- 1918, Finland declares its independence in the aftermath of the Russian revolution.
- 1914-1918, Sweden stays neutral in World War I.
- 1911, voting rights are extended to non-land owners, meaning that industry workers are allowed to vote for parliament.
- 1905, Norway peacefully breaks away from the union with Sweden, formed in 1814. Norway keeps its parliament and monarchical constitution, but elects a Danish prince as the new king of Norway.
- 1870-1910, one million Swedes emigrate to the USA, one sixth of the population. Chicago alone has 63,000 inhabitants born in Sweden, making it the third biggest Swedish city.
- December 10, 1896, the inventor of the safe explosive "Dynamite" and industrialist Alfred Nobel dies, leaving an enormous fortune of 33 million kronor to be used for a prize awarded annualy to the most significant contributions in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The peace prize is to be awarded by a Norwegian committee. The Nobel Prize is awarded for the first time in 1901. See http://www.nobel.se/
- 1865, Sweden replaces the medieval four estates parliament (nobelty, priesthood, bourgoisie, peasants) with a modern two chamber parliament.
- 1814, after the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark loses Norway to Prussia. In an exchange deal, Sweden leaves West Pomerania to Prussia (Germany) and enters a union with Norway. Norway gets its own parliament and constitution, and celebrates May 17 this year as its independence day, but its head of state is the king of Sweden.
- 1809, the eastern half of Sweden is lost in war to Russia. Finland has been an integral part of the Swedish kingdom for 600 years and now becomes a great duchy in the Russian empire.
- 1648, in the peace treaty of Westphalia after the Thirty Years War, Sweden gains West Pomerania in northern Germany. Today's Finland, Estonia, and Latvia are also part of the Swedish kingdom. Sweden's three biggest cities are Riga, Stockholm, and Tallinn, in that order.
- 1630, Sweden joins the Thirty Years War on the northern, protestant side.
- 1521, Sweden breaks away from the union with Denmark and Norway formed in 1389. Swedish rebellion leader Gustav Vasa becomes king Gustav I of Sweden, introduces the Lutheran reformation of the church of Sweden, a strong army, and a highly centralized administration.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sweden, National Geographic, accessed November 2007.
- Country profile: Sweden BBC, accessed November 2007.
- Philip Morris International [2501189885/9898 ETS Plan, Nordic Area 19870000]. Report/chart/graph. 1987/estimated date. 14 pp. Bates No. 2501189885/9898
- Stig Carlson, Philip Morris C&B Program EEMA - 950000 Memo. August 4, 1994. 2 pp. Bates No. 2065260189/0190