May 18, 2020 / 4:25 PM / 8 days ago

Swedish govt to give 6 bln SEK extra to local authorities as part of pandemic package

STOCKHOLM, May 18 (Reuters) - Sweden’s government said on Monday it will give local authorities an extra 6 billion Swedish crowns ($617.74 million) this year in addition to 23 billion already promised to ease the effects of the coronavirus on healthcare and other services.

While Sweden has not opted for the kind of lock down adopted across much of Europe, businesses and households have been hard hit and the locally-financed healthcare sector has been put under considerable strain.

“Securing the finances of local authorities and regions does not just protect our common welfare but also strengthens Sweden’s resistance against the crisis,” the government, and the two centre-right parties that support it, said in an signed article in daily Dagens Nyheter.

The government has already said it will spend around 240 billion crowns extra this year to support companies and workers, not to mention offering a package of around 575 billion in loans and guarantees to companies. ($1 = 9.7129 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Johan Ahlander)

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