Sweden sunk in mortgage gloom

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The Independent Online
THE BAD news was on the doorstep for many Swedes yesterday morning. Mortgage rates for some have risen to 24 per cent, following the government's decision to push up lending rates for banks to 75 per cent to defend the currency.

Though three-quarters of Swedish mortgages are on fixed rates, for the rest the increase of 6.75 percentage points means another pounds 250 on a pounds 50,000 mortgage. With unemployment rising rapidly and the economy in its worst recession since the 1930s, the move has touched painful nerves for critics of the Prime Minister, Carl Bildt. 'Are we supposed to live in tents now, Bildt?,' the opposition Aftonbladet newspaper asked. The pressure on Sweden follows devaluation in Finland.