Cash-critics like to praise Sweden for its widespread adoption of digital payments, predicting that this Scandinavian country will be the first to completely abandon the liquid krone. Not so fast! In response to the rising uneasiness with its largest neighbor, Russia, Sweden has launched a nationwide communication campaign Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) to inform the population about what to do in the event of a war.
The pamphlet that is being sent to 4.8 million households is equipped with illustrations and check-lists designed to facilitate the task of preparing for a crisis. There is also a section warning citizens about fake news and the way it can influence people’s perceptions and values.
Speaking for The Guardian, Dan Eliasson of the Swedish civil contingencies agency says “Society is vulnerable, so we need to prepare ourselves as individuals.”
Sweden is toying with the idea of joining Nato and is working with neighboring Denmark “to counter Russian cyber-attacks and disinformation”. In fact, Sweden accuses Russia of meddling with its internal politics by trying to influence public opinion in the ongoing debate about its potential Nato membership.
Aside from recommending stocking up on canned foods, water and warm clothing, the pamphlet asks the population to imagine what it would be like if there were no internet, cash machines or electricity. Indeed, as part of the basic essentials for survival, the pamphlet concludes that each individual should have enough cash stashed away, preferably in small denominations. In 2016, Germany also updated its civil defense strategy encouraging the population to have some basic necessities, including cash, stored away in cash of an emergency.
This is not surprising because when all systems are down, only cash sticks around!
To see the pamphlet, click on the title here: If Crisis or War Comes
Image credit: From the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency pamphlet "If crisis or war comes". Designed by Kreab AB. Illustration by Arvid Steen.