Monday, June 21, 2010

Newsy: Sweden's Royal Wedding Sparks Controversy

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The king of Sweden has agreed to pay for half of his daughter's wedding, being called the most lavish since Princess Diana and Prince Charles'. But taxpayers aren't happy about footing the other half.
“Today the King of Sweden hosted the most lavish royal wedding since Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s. His daughter is the princess bride, Victoria but the groom… Daniel Westling, who shed a tear during his vows, is from a very different world: the gym.”
Sweden rejoiced as a fairy-tale wedding unfolded in front of them. However, the 20 million kronor, or 2.63 million dollar, wedding bill has sapped the joy out of some people, mainly the taxpayers who will be responsible for at least half of the cost of the wedding.
We're analyzing coverage from CNN, The Local and The Wall Street Journal.
Although the popularity of the monarchy has dropped down from 62 percent to 56 percent over the past 6 years, CNN reports the Swedish are looking forward to the wedding and the opportunities it will bring: “We hope the wedding is going to be very good for us and good for Stockholm. Asa Norberg runs a souvenir shop at the heart of old town. After losing almost a third of her normal customer volume to the financial crisis she's hoping the royal wedding will turn things around.”
The Local, a Swedish English language news Web site, stated that the king has promised to absorb half the cost of the wedding, but that that will not include additional expenses, like free public transportation cost, extra security and a whole lot more: “A news program at the weekend stated that the government allocated 40 million kronor ($5.7 million) to renovate a palace near Stockholm that the couple will live in. Another 8 million kronor ($1.14 million) over two years has been granted to run the place.”
Stockholm has also invested millions into a two-week long festival celebrating the occasion. They are expecting huge returns. But, The Wall Street Journaldiscovered, Sweden might have overestimated the royal’s popularity. Of the 2,300 journalists covering the wedding, only 700 were non-Swedes. It found a business student who tried to rent out his property for the event: “No one was interested. I guess there were too many of us thinking the same thing.”
So what do you think of the Swedish wedding? ‘Happily ever after’ for the people? Or should tax-payers get a spending pre-nup?


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