Scandinavian embassies urge caution – not panic

danske-aviser-ashxDespite constantly-updated, stern travel advisories issued to visiting Scandinavian citizens by their respective governments, the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish embassies appear to be more or less accommodating to the ongoing political unrest and occasional violent flare-ups in certain Bangkok areas.

 The road blockades in and around various protest sites in Bangkok tend to worsen the city’s already notorious traffic problems, but such inconvenience was nothing compared to what one sees in the western media’s coverages, which give the impression that the whole city is one huge warzone.

The Norwegian Ambassador, Katja Christina Nordgaard, called for a more balanced treatment from the Norwegian news media.

“They tend to make it look a lot scarier, than it is. So we feel it is important to calm people down and put things into perspective, when we are dealing with Norwegians from home contacting the embassy, “ she said. The Embassy is monitoring the situation day-by-day, and the uncertainty and changing situations do cause some anxiety.

 “Even though most of the Norwegian businesses carry on as normal, we do experience some hassles. There are some business located near the protest sites and some of their employees have to pass through those areas to get to and from work,” she said.

Danish Ambassador Mikael Winther, agreed that the traffic is an issue that comes to mind when he think about ongoing political demonstrations, but like his Norwegian counterpart, he does not think the situation is worrying to a point where it actually hurts Danish businesses.

“The companies should be cautious . But the tendency in some media is to focus on the battle zone aspects only. That kind of coverage and publicity are damaging in the long run, which eventually could affect Danish trade and businesses as well, “ he said.

The Scandinavian embassies are in daily contacts with the Thai authorities so they can expect to keep abreast of critical developments.

 Per-Anders Andersson, Counselor and Head of Chancery and Consular Affairs, at The Swedish Embassy, believes that Swedish tourists are not avoiding Thailand despite the political unrest.

“But a lot of them are avoiding Bangkok, which is a pity. It would be a good idea for any tourist to follow the situation in the local media as well as updates from authorities though, “ he said.

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