For many Sweden is viewed as a utopian, progressive society with a high standard of living, low unemployment and a peaceful view of world affairs.
Sweden is a stable country where the people lack the neurosis brought by involvement in war or poverty.
Society in Sweden is propped up by a highly developed welfare state funded through high taxation. Workers earning low wages are subsidised by the state through a progressive taxation policy. From a position of almost zero unemployment, the rate of unemployment has recently grown to almost 1.7%, low by European and international standards, yet causing concern amongst the Swedish media suggesting that
Sweden is now paradise lost.
The Swedes face similar problems to their European neighbours with rising prices and high taxation. However, Sweden is a neutral country, its army fulfils a role for the United Nations and its soldiers are not typical of most armies.
Rodney Rice travelled to Sweden for the programme 'Seven Days' to find out more about how the country works and met their Prime Minister Olaf Palme, Europe's youngest Prime Minister, who talks about the Swedish position on the European common market, neutrality and free trade.
As a neutral country we can not take part in the formulation of such a joint foreign policy.
This episode of 'Seven Days' presented by Rodney Rice was broadcast on 2 November 1971.
'Seven Days' began broadcasting on 26 September 1966 and was RTÉ television's flagship current affairs programme for ten years. The programme's young production team was made up of producer Lelia Doolan, directors Eoghan Harris and Dick Hill, and reporters John O'Donoghue, Brian Cleeve, Brian Farrell and Rodney Rice.