Sweden should adopt Danish economic aid model, business group says

Covid-19 restrictions keep seasonal forestry workers out of Sweden

Covid-19 restrictions keep seasonal forestry workers out of Sweden
Every year, some 350 million trees are sowed in Sweden but an entry ban is preventing seasonal workers from outside the European Union from coming

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To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the government has banned the entry of all foreign citizens travelling into Sweden from outside the EU and EEA until May 15.

That has left the forestry sector scrambling to find a solution as most of its seasonal workforce is covered by the ban.

The industry said it currently lacks between 750 to 1,000 workers to get seedlings into the ground this spring.

When asked if recently unemployed Swedes could do the job, Lena-Liisa Tengblad from the Swedish Federation of Green Employers said some training is required before planters can head out into the woods.

"Of course, parts of the job can be done by others", she said, "but it requires a bit of training and not everyone has that kind of time since the season has already started."

Sweden should adopt Danish economic aid model, business group says

Sweden should employ the same level of support Denmark is to help businesses struggling under the coronavirus pandemic, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise says.

The business group says the model being used in Denmark offers more generous support for fixed costs and could cover roughly 75 percent of a company’s downtime costs during the pandemic.

Current Swedish measures will only cover about 30 percent, they say. But switching over to the Danish economic aid package would cost the country about SEK 100 billion, a cost the industry group tells Swedish Radio News that is well worth it.

Source: Sveriges Radio

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