Sweden rekindles New York expat consulate

Swedes living in the US are getting access to a Swedish foreign ministry consulate in New York again, with the centre reopening on Wednesday after a controversial closure in 2009.

Sweden rekindles New York expat consulate
A snowy New York snapped earlier this week. Photo: Peter Morgan/AP/TT
The consulate will offer Swedes similar help to that given by larger full embassies, such as processing of passport applications, advice on Swedish taxes and assistance in the event of a catastrophe. Its staff will also offer help to both Americans and foreigners with business interests or partners in Sweden.
The centre will be formally reopened by the Swedish Minister for Enterprise Mikael Damberg, who is on a visit to the Big Apple this week and has already made headlines by ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange.
He will lead an official opening ceremony for the consulate at 4.30pm local time, at its premises on New York's famous Park Avenue.
Sweden's former Trade Minister Leif Pagrotsky has already been installed as the new Consul General.
The previous Swedish consulate shut down six years ago due to budget constraints, despite strong opposition to the move from US-based Swedes and the wider Swedish business community. 
Another consulate in Los Angeles was also closed, although the Swedish foreign ministry maintained its consulates in around 30 other locations including San Fransisco, Boston, Chicago and New Orleans. Sweden's embassy is the US is situated in Washington DC.
A movie about life in Sweden is being shown New York's iconic Times Square, in conjunction with the much-hyped return of the consulate to the city.
Called 'This is Sweden' and produced by B-Reel films for the Swedish Institute, it is designed to provide an “updated, attractive and genuine interest of the country”.
“'This is Sweden' shows everything from rainy summers and spontaneous skinny dipping to parental leave and same-sex marriage. We want to convey an authentic sense of what Sweden is today,” said the project's manager Johan Sundberg, in a media release.
“We have selected a documentary approach, where we filmed real people in their daily lives, instead of using professional actors,” added the film's 25-year-old director Olof Lindh.
A preview was released on social media earlier on Wednesday.