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Swedish PM to speak at Victoria University

MEDIA RELEASE 11 February 2005
Public Affairs

Swedish PM to speak at Victoria University

Economic and social policy in Sweden will be the subject of a public lecture to be given by the Swedish Prime Minister, His Excellency Göran Persson, at Victoria University next week.

The lecture, which will also be attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh, will be held on Monday 14 February in the University's Pipitea Campus in downtown Wellington.

The lecture has been co-hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies in Victoria University's School of Government and the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit at Lower Hutt.

Mr Persson has served as Prime Minister of Sweden and Chairman of the Social Democratic Party since 1996, having been first elected to the Swedish legislature, the Riksdag, in 1979. He has also held ministerial and parliamentary posts in finance, agriculture and education as well as in local government.

Dr Andrew Ladley, Director of Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies, said it was an honour to have Mr Persson speak at the University.

"The 'Swedish model' is often held up as the key social-democratic response to fundamental questions about the State's role in work, family, community, economic growth and taxation in an industrialised world. The model, which has featured centralised wage negotiations and a heavily subsidised social security system, has delivered low unemployment and an economy that has been growing faster than the rest of Western Europe.

"While the reputation of this model is well known, the challenges lie ahead. Can such a model survive a slowing in economic growth and the ageing of the population? Has the balance swung too far towards the public sector? They're questions that New Zealand and many other western countries are grappling with and we will be keen to hear his views."

Media are welcome to attend the address from 5.30-6.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1, School of Law, Pipitea Campus, Lambton Quay.

ENDS

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