• 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
Record number of drowning deaths in Sweden this year
Linus Magnusson och Ester Meijer, life guards at Skanör beach in southern Sweden last year. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

More people have drowned in Sweden so far this year than in any other year this century. The good weather is getting the blame.

Presented by American Express
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
File photo: Pixabay

Getting ready to jet off on summer holidays? Be sure to check out these tips and tricks for avoiding unnecessary headaches between packing and relaxing.

Pupils' school photo Nazi salute 'wasn't criminal'
The harbour in Simrishamn, close to where the incident took place. Photo: Jorchr/Wikimedia Commons

Four high school students who performed a Nazi salute in a school photo have had their convictions for inciting racial hatred quashed by an appeal court.

'We don't know how Brexit will affect our time in Sweden'
Sweden-based Brit Sarah Campbell, left. Photo: Private & AP Photo/Tim Ireland

One month after the Brexit referendum Sarah Campbell, a British reader based in Uppsala, pens a love letter to her European Union.

Royal husband: 'Britain should not leave the EU'
Sweden's Princess Madeleine and her British-American husband Chris O'Neill. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

What does this British-American husband of a Swedish princess think of Brexit and Hillary Clinton?

This Swede is the world's best mosquito catcher
Kristoffer Ekersund. Photo: Private & Johan Nilsson/TT

Yes, there is such a thing as the world championship in mosquito killing.

Which of these two Swedes is Vincent van Gogh's lost twin?
Ivar Arpi, a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh and Petter Samuelson. Photo: Tomlin Studio & Private

Question: What is even more bizarre than a Swede who really, really looks like Vincent van Gogh? Answer: TWO Swedes who look like Vincent van Gogh.

Date set for verdict in asylum home murder trial in Sweden
The accused in court with a member of his legal team. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The trial of a man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has ended.

High security as Orlando top of mind at Stockholm Pride
This man might not actually be a police officer. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Nothing is being left to chance, organizers insist.

Fired Ericsson boss to get millions in payouts
Hans Vestberg of Ericsson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has fired its long-standing CEO Hans Vestberg, but said he will receive a severance package amounting to millions of kronor.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »


11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
People-watching: July 15th-17th
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Terror attack: what should you do?
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
People-watching: July 13th
Swedes discover surprise mountain
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
People-watching: July 8th-10th
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
jobs available