Yahoo! News: Nordic welfare state being cut down to size
Copenhagen (AFP) - The Nordic model, known for high taxes and its cradle-to-grave welfare system, is getting a radical makeover as nations find themselves cash-strapped.
During the post-war period, the Scandinavian economies became famous for a "softer" version of capitalism that placed more importance on social equality than other western nations, such as Britain and the United States, did.
But globalisation, economic necessity and an ideological shift to the right has led to a scaling back of the public sector.
In Sweden, visitors are sometimes surprised to learn about year-long waiting times for cancer patients, rioting in low-income suburbs and train derailments amid lagging infrastructure investment.
"The generosity of the system has declined," said Jonas Hinnfors, a professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg.
"Much of this already started changing in the 1980s and especially in the 1990s," he added. ...