Friday, March 31, 2006

Government responsibility?

The aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami was a scandal in Sweden because of the government's slow and insufficient response. Tragedy could have been somewhat mitigated with timely intervention by the Swedish government. But was it clear (or is it clear) where responsibility starts and ends?

If a Swede runs out of money abroad, should the government help? How about if a storm causes a family to lose their money; what is the government's responsibility? Even if we say - "It is only money, not life" what if during processing time, without money, the unfortunate Swedes or their children suffer another accident, or violence?

I'm not sure that consensus exists on how much the State is responsible for people's welfare outside the country. Are consular people and ministers on call constantly? Should all taxpayers be charged with getting travelers out of trouble?

What of responsibility by innkeepers, travel agents, and the traveler's themselves?

Having said that, governments should be somewhat prepared, and have planned for various accidents and changing circumstances; then implementing policies, plans and limits: risk management procedures, emergency mitigation and relief.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Take a Haiku in Sweden

Disappearing snow
Autumn trash & lots of sand
Stockholm in April

More light and more light
Stockholm faces shining bright
More glow from within

Kristi Himmelsfärd
But Annandag Pingst no more
Just thanks for days off

Airline spring puppets
ESCC people plan
Our summer travel

Too eagerly baked?
From autumn to Shrove Tuesday
When to eat semlor?

Feathered birch twigs and
Funny-looking witches: Spring!
Songs by the bonfire

Do April showers
Bring May flowers when we're at
Sixty degrees North?