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Swedish Kronor

The krona (SEK) is the official currency of Sweden. The English translation for krona is “crown”, and the plural form is kronor. Sweden is a Scandinavian country situated in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Norway and Finland, and has a long coastline on the Baltic Sea. It has no land border with the other Scandinavian country of Denmark, but there is a physical link, via the Oresund Bridge and tunnel. Its northernmost territories lie above the Arctic Circle and it is a member of the European Union.
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In modern times, Sweden has had a strong democratic heritage, with economic prosperity, prosperity, freedom of thought and expression and protection of civil liberties in general very much at the forefront of Swedish tradition. Both World Wars saw the Swedes remain officially neutral, but in practice tended to take a pragmatic approach to their affiliation. The governments of the time tried to walk a thin line: being sufficiently amenable to the Germans to ward off the prospect of invasion, while being as helpful to opposition and resistance forces as possible without provoking the Germans into retaliation. During World War Two for example, natural resources and industrial goods were supplied to Germany, but at the same time, support was offered to the Norwegian resistance, and refugees from mainland Europe and its Nordic neighbours were readily accepted. Sweden was in no position to openly oppose the Nazis in any case, so clearly felt that concessions were inevitable.

The post-war period saw this precarious attempt at neutrality continue, as the Swedes refused to take sides in the Cold War either. Despite retaining strong political ties with western governments, it maintained its military neutrality by refusing to join NATO. Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, but remains outside the Eurozone after rejecting the adoption of the currency in a national referendum in 2003.

The krona was first introduced to Sweden in 1873, when it was part of the Scandinavian Monetary Union, along with its neighbours Denmark and Norway. The currencies were fixed in value to the Gold Standard. The union lasted until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 when the currencies separated, although they all retained the same names (krone in Denmark and Norway).

The krona has seen little change since, with its value managed against whichever are the most powerful trading currencies in the region at the time. In the 20th Century, this was occasionally the pound, but more often the German mark. Recent times have seen the euro take this role. As a member of the EU, Sweden is theoretically obliged to commit to join the euro. But like many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, this is a controversial issue and remains unpopular with the Swedes, who would prefer to retain their traditional currency. There are currently no plans to adopt the euro.

Bingo is very popular in Sweden. Indeed some UK based bingo sites offer a format of bingo called 5 Line bingo, often referred to as “Swedish” Bingo. Doubtless many kronor are spent on this form of bingo online in its Scandinavian homeland, and Swedes based here in the United Kingdom will find several of the large British based sites will be delighted to accept their money. At the time of writing, the value of the krona is just under 12 kronor to the pound.