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Staifo, Abraham


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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden | 16/02/2012

Vaccination hysteria calls for self-criticism

In Sweden roughly 170 children and youths have fallen ill with narcolepsy following the mass vaccinations against swine flu in 2009. According to the statistics of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) mortality rates in Sweden as a result of the disease were almost exactly as high as in countries where little to no vaccination was carried out. The liberal daily Göteborgs Posten urges a more carefully considered approach: "The vaccination was voluntary; certainly, each individual bears personal responsibility for his own actions, but we should not forget the power of collective psychology. … It would have been better to first vaccinate the risk groups and then offer the vaccination to anyone else who wanted it for a fee. This would likely have calmed the panic and led to a more genuinely voluntary response. … In the aftermath of the vaccination campaign the big issue for those affected [by narcolepsy] is damages. But what is really needed now is for politics and the press to undertake a thorough and self-critical assessment of their own conduct."

Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden | 17/09/2009

Swedish unions should focus on berry pickers

At the beginning of the week Swedish unions in the Stockholm suburb of Vaxholm blocked farmers from employing Latvian farmworkers in protest at their poor working conditions. The daily Götegorgs-Posten writes that far less attention is paid to Thai berry pickers, who work every year in northern Sweden for very low wages: "If the unions gave the berry pickers even a fraction of the attention they give to Vaxholm, it could lead to creating decent working conditions and above all equitable pay. That would considerably lower the berry picking companies' profit margins. They would then be less keen on flying Thai employees all the way over here. But on the other hand it would make berry picking more attractive to youths in the suburbs and cities. The Swedish economy needs measures to put young people to work. Why not berry picking in the summer up in the north?"

Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden | 14/11/2008

A blog won't give you an election victory

With an eye to their own parliamentary elections in 2010, the Swedish parties followed the US election campaign closely and now plan to make more use of electronic media. "But the parties are forgetting a few important aspects," writes Abraham Staifo in the daily Göteborgs-Posten. "A blog can't make a policy and YouTube can't make a man. ... The parties' greatest miscalculation is that they are attributing too much importance to the blogosphere as a place for winning votes. ... What is important for Sweden's parties is not which medium they use, but what message they want to convey. Moreover, it would be wiser to take conditions in Sweden into account rather than becoming fixated on those in the US. Sure, young voters can be best reached through the Internet. And the party that has the best chance of winning is the one that can pull its own [Barack] Obama out of its sleeve. On the other hand, copies are never as good as the originals."

Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden | 09/11/2007

Finnish gun laws under fire

An 18-year-old killed nine people and injured 12 in a massacre at the Jokela secondary school in Tuusula, Finland. The Swedish newspaper criticises Finland's gun laws, which allow 15-year-olds to obtain a gun license. It points out that 38,000 teenagers can therefore purchase a firearm at their local arms dealer. "It's an oversimplification to lay the blame on the internet and violent films. Sickness, a lack of empathy and the collapse of internal inhibitions are to blame, but also the general attitude toward weapons and the possibility of purchasing them. Restrictive gun-control laws must be introduced. Finland, where 56 out of 100 persons own a firearm, lacks such laws. Finland was exempted from the EU law under which you have to be 18 years of age before you can obtain a license. Now it has reason to regret this."

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