Samoa. According to
Countryaah, Samoa struggled during the year with a recovery
following a severe cyclone that ravaged the island before
the New Year. Several casualties had been claimed, hundreds
of homes destroyed and thousands of people homeless. The
devastation in agriculture was great, and schools and health
clinics had been razed. The material damage was estimated at
the equivalent of about SEK 1.3 billion, a third of Samoa's
GDP. At the same time, reconstruction became a stimulus for
the economy, which is expected to grow by 2.5% during the
The authorities' decision to grant permission to Samoa's
first two casinos attracted criticism. According to the
political opposition and the churches, gambling casinos
risked destroying Samoa's cultural and Christian heritage
and creating widespread social problems.
During the year, the Parliament passed a change in the
Constitution which gives a minimum ratio of women in
Parliament. At least five of the 49 members of the elected
assembly will be women in the future.
During the year, a new law came into force that forbids
physical saga at school. The schools in Samoa have been
known for tough times, where students have been hit a lot.
With the new law, teachers risk fines and even imprisonment
if they use violence against students. This led to an
intense debate, where some teachers and parents wanted to
keep the traditional system.
During the year, Samoa Air became the first airline with
seats in size XL to serve passengers heavier than 130 kg.
The weight of the passengers determines the company's fare,
as the Samoans are among the world's heaviest people.