Europe

Swedish town council rejects 'paid sex leave'

Per-Erik Muskos Image copyright Overtornea municipality
Image caption Mr Muskos had hoped the measure would give Övertorneå a population boost

Councillors in a small Swedish town have voted against a proposal to give municipal workers paid "sex leave".

Per-Erik Muskos, a councillor in Övertorneå, had suggested a one-hour break each week for staff to go home and get intimate with their partners.

He told the BBC the goal was to improve people's relationships.

"It's just three little letters," Mr Muskos said in February, brushing off a suggestion that he is interfering in people's private lives.

But the council's more conservative elements disagreed.

Mayor of Övertorneå Tomas Vedestig concluded that employees' private lives should be just that.

"It's not for the council to interfere in," he told SVT.

Mr Muskos had hoped the headline-grabbing plan would boost his town's dwindling population.

Övertorneå is currently home to about 4,500 people, but their average age is rising steadily.

"Many young people leave the town on the same day they leave school," the councillor rued.

He also felt setting aside an hour a week would benefit couples who struggle to make time for each other.

"People have so many other things to do," he said. "When you are at home you have social media, you have to take your children to football and ice hockey, you don't have time to take care of each other and have time together without children."

If the council's 550 workers are disappointed, at least they'll have an outlet for their woes: They already get an hour a week for sports activities.

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