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SWIMMING

Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae

Residents and visitors to Malmö have been warned to avoid swimming at all beaches and bathing spots along the southern city's coastline due to dangerous algae bloom in the water.

Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae
The bathing pier at Sundspromenaden, one of Malmö's affected beaches. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

Editor's note: On Thursday, July 25th, city authorities said it was once again safe to swim. Bathers are advised to look for signs and flags by swimming spots in case the situation changes.

The city council took to social media to ask people to avoid swimming “until further notice”, while signs have been put up and black flags raised at the sites themselves.

This is after regular tests showed there was algal bloom in the water, which can produce toxins that are dangerous to people and animals, sometimes leading to rashes and stomach flu-like symptoms.

While the warm weather encourages many people to go for a dip outdoors, these weather conditions can also lead to overgrowth of algae.

Some of the affected swimming spots include Klagshamnsstranden, Ribersborgsstranden, Scaniabadet and Sundspromenaden in the Västra Hamnen area, Sibbarps saltsjöbad, and Sibbarpsstranden.

As for when it will be safe to swim again, it could be at least another day or two, but it's possible the beaches will be safe for bathers by the weekend.

Marie Persson from Malmö City's environmental department told Sydsvenskan: “We usually don't have this for more than a couple of days, then the wind blows it to other places. Now the weather is supposed to stay steady with calm winds, but I have no idea of ​​the currents. Hopefully it will be no more than a few days.”

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ALMEDALEN 2022

Green Party leader: ‘Right-wing parties want to push us out of parliament’

Per Bolund, joint leader of Sweden's Green party, spoke for thirteen and a half minutes at Almedalen before he mentioned the environment, climate, or fossil fuels, in a speech that began by dwelling on healthcare, women's rights, and welfare, before returning to the party's core issue.

Green Party leader: 'Right-wing parties want to push us out of parliament'

After an introduction by his joint leader Märta Stenevi, Bolund declared that his party was going into the election campaign on a promise “to further strengthen welfare, with more staff and better working conditions in healthcare, and school without profit-making, where the money goes to the pupils and not to dividends for shareholders”. 

Only then did he mention the party’s efforts when in government to “build the world’s first fossil-free welfare state”. 

“We know that if we want welfare to work in the future, we must have an answer to our time’s biggest crisis: the threat to the environment and the climate,” he said.

“We know that there is no welfare on a dead planet. We need to take our society into a new time, where we end our dependency on oil, meet the threat to the climate, and build a better welfare state within nature’s boundaries, what we call a new, green folkhem [people’s home].” 

He presented green policies as something that makes cities more liveable, with the new sommargågator — streets pedestrianised in the summer — showing how much more pleasant a life less dependent on cars might be.  

He then said his party wanted Sweden to invest 100 billion kronor a year on speeding up the green transition, to make Sweden fossil fuel-free by 2030. 

“We talk about the climate threat because it’s humanity’s biggest challenge, our biggest crisis,” he said. “And because we don’t have much time.” 

In the second half of his speech, however, Bolund used more traditional green party rhetoric, accusing the other political parties in Sweden of always putting off necessary green measures, because they do not seem urgent now, like a middle-aged person forgetting to exercise. 

“We know that we need to cut emissions radically if we are even going to have a chance of meeting our climate goal, but for all the other parties there’s always a reason to delay,” he said. 

“We are now seeing the curtain go up on the backlash in climate politics in Sweden. All the parties have now chosen to slash the biofuels blending mandate which means that we reduce emissions from petrol and diesel step for step, so you automatically fill your tank in a greener way. Just the government’s decision to pause the  reduction mandate will increase emissions by a million tonnes next year.” 

The right-wing parties, he warned, were also in this election running a relentless campaign against the green party. 

“The rightwing parties seem to have given up trying to win the election on their own policies,” he said. “Trying to systematically push out of parliament seems to be their way of trying to take power. And they don’t seem above any means. Slander campaigns, lies, and false information have become every day in Swedish right-wing politics.” 

He ended the speech with an upbeat note. 

“A better, more sustainable world is possible. There is a future to long for. If you give us a chance then that future is much closer than you think!”

Read the speech here in Swedish and here in (Google Translated) English. 

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