• Sweden's news in English
Brussels Attacks
Swedish PM: 'We're mourning with Brussels'
Floral tributes in Brussels on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

Swedish PM: 'We're mourning with Brussels'

The Local · 23 Mar 2016, 08:15

Published: 22 Mar 2016 16:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Mar 2016 08:15 GMT+01:00

“This strikes at the democratic node of Europe. We're mourning with Brussels,” said Löfven as he addressed a press conference in Stockholm, held just hours after a series of blasts in the Belgian capital – home to some of the EU's top institutions – claimed at least 30 lives and injured hundreds.

The centre-left leader said a number of measures designed to prevent attacks in Sweden, for example making it illegal to take part in terrorist activities abroad, would soon come into effect.

But he added that an open society could never completely protect itself from terrorism.

“We can never guarantee that it won't happen, no. But it's our obligation to do everything we can to prevent it,” said Löfven at the press conference, which started almost 45 minutes behind schedule.

Sweden agreed after last year's Paris attacks to help France fight Isis militants in Syria. Löfven pledged on Tuesday that his Social Democrat-Green government would also be prepared to assist Belgium, although he said he would not comment on what such support would look like until a request was made.

The attacks in the Belgian capital come three weeks after Sweden lowered its national terror threat level back down to three on a five-point scale, after raising it to a record four ('high') in November.

Löfven said he trusted the Säpo security police's judgment in assessing threats to Sweden, after it said earlier on Tuesday that Sweden's terror alert would for now remain at a steady level-three ('elevated').

Swedish leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Several other Swedes joined the Prime Minister in paying tributes to victims and denouncing the attacks.

“Horrifying attacks in Brussels, on victims and families but also on our open society and way of life. Terrorism must be fought forcefully,” wrote Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of Sweden's biggest opposition party in parliament, the centre-right Moderates, on Twitter.

“We are shaken after the attacks but won't let terror win,” tweeted Fredrik Federley, member of the centre-right Centre Party and one of Sweden's most high-profile representatives in the European Parliament, which was put in lockdown by police immediately following the attacks.

Meanwhile his colleague Soraya Post, who represents Sweden's Feminist Initiative party in the European Parliament, tweeted a picture of the Maelbeek metro station, where dozens died on Tuesday morning. “It's a crater. Great sorrow. Strength to [the victims'] families,” she wrote.

Jonas Sjöstedt, the leader of Sweden's Left Party, wrote: "Terrible and cowardly terror acts in Brussels. I think of everyone who's been affected. Let's fight terror with firmness and democracy."

And Jimmie Åkesson, who heads the right-wing Sweden Democrats, commented in a Facebook post: "Brussels has today been hit by a terrible incident with both dead and injured. Let all our thoughts go to the victims and their families."

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
The top reactions to Swedish high heels handyman video
Andersson was in agony after a day of laying floors in high heels. Photo: Emil Andersson

What did The Local's readers think about this viral clip challenging sexist beauty ideals?

Transport authorities call for probe into tech glitch
SAS aircraft grounded at Arlanda airport last week. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

But officials say it was not sabotage that caused last week's network failure, which knocked out large parts of Swedish air traffic.

Why northern Swedes get the hots for sex toys
File photo of handcuffs. Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/TT

Where in Sweden do people buy the most sex toys? Kiruna in the far north, apparently.

Royal baptism day for Sweden's Prince Oscar
Prince Oscar with Archbishop Antje Jackelén. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

UPDATED: Royalty, dignitaries and other esteemed figures took to Stockholm's Royal Chapel for the ceremony.

Giant replica of Swedish 18th century ship up for sale
The Götheborg setting sail from Stockholm in 2008. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

A replica of a doomed Swedish merchant vessel that sank in 1745 within sight of its home port of Gothenburg has been put up for sale.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

Dozens of attempts have been made, but this is the first successful crossing since Sweden introduced ID and border checks.

Poll: Swedes are worried about Brexit consequences
The possibility of Brexit has Swedes worried about the EU's future. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Swedes are worried about what may happen both at home and abroad if Britain votes to leave the EU in June.

The Local Recipes
Fend off the bad weather with a Swedish beetroot salad
Beetroot salad with cumin and feta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Rain, rain, go away.

How a Swedish rocker saved the life of this cute baby elk
Erik Brodén's daughters Tyra and Brita with the elk baby. Photo: Private

Probably the sweetest story you'll read today.

Man sentenced over dinner party murder in west Sweden
The man during a preliminary court hearing last year. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

He stabbed his friend at a dinner party and attempted to kill two others.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's christening
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Is this town the best place in Sweden?
People-watching: May 25th
Blog updates

27 May

Editor’s blog, May 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, Would you spend a day doing manual labour in high heels? That’s what Swedish…" READ »


17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
People-watching: May 18th
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
People-watching: May 11th
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: