March 23, 2020 / 1:04 PM / 9 days ago

Swedish to take further measures in extra budget to meet virus challenge

STOCKHOLM, March 23 (Reuters) - Up to 1.7 million Swedish workers could be laid off as companies cut production and the government is preparing further measures to dampen the effects on the economy to be included in an extra budget, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday.

A record number of people in Sweden have been told they will be laid off in the last two weeks, surpassing the pace during the financial crisis, according to the Swedish Public Employment Service. So far in March 18,367 persons have received notice of termination, compared to 3,292 for the entire month last year.

“This was one of the biggest numbers of people given notice that we have seen in modern Swedish history, and clearly this is a very serious situation” Andersson told a news conference.

She did not give details of what measures the government would take.

Earlier this month, the government launched a 300 billion Swedish crown package to support the economy, employers and workers and has also announced a number of other individual measures, for example to help the airline industry. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom) ))

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