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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news
Public transport operators across the country have lost out on money due to both reduced travel and increased fare evasion. Photo: Ali Lorestani / TT

Weather warnings in northern Sweden after heavy snow stops flights

Strong winds and snow caused three flight cancellations and other traffic issues in the northern regions of Västerbotten and Norrbotten on Sunday, and the weather disruption isn't over just yet.

Meteorological agency SMHI has a Class 1 warning (the lowest on a three-point scale) in place for Västerbotten, where between 5 and 10 centimetres more snowfall is expected during Monday. If you're out on the roads today in that region, be careful.

Swedish vocabulary: snowfall — snöfall

Property sales reached a record high in September

September was a record month for the Swedish property market, according to figures from property site Hemnet. A total of 19,411 properties were registered as sold, up 15 percent from the previous record month which was May last year. Most of the homes sold were apartments, 11,124 in total which is a 13 percent increase on September 2019.

And there is still no sign of a slump when it comes to prices. In September, property prices across the country rose by 1.1 percent, according to estate agent firm Valuegard. Detached houses in Stockholm and Malmö saw the biggest increase, of 3.5 and 3.1 percent respectively. 

Swedish vocabulary: property market — bostadsmarknad

Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden's lunch restaurants hit hardest by pandemic

Although Sweden has not introduced strict lockdowns as seen in other countries, the coronavirus guidelines and the high spread of the infection has left many restaurants are struggling.

According to a survey by industry organisation Visita, lunch restaurants are worst hit, especially those in central city neighbourhoods or next to office blocks, which have lost on average half of their income, Sveriges Radio reports. In Sweden, everyone is asked to work from home and avoid public transport if possible, and to limit their social contacts.

Swedish vocabulary: lunch joint (slightly colloquial) — lunchhak

Malmö housing developer offers reward for 'stolen police officers'

A Swedish housing developer have offered a cash reward for any tips leading to the return of two missing statues of police officers, which have guarded the gate of a former police station in the southern city of Malmö since it was built in 1934. Developer Riksbyggen is converting the station into apartments, but said the statues were an important part of the building's history

Swedish vocabulary: statue — staty

Photo: Riksbyggen/TT

Public transport fare evasion soared during pandemic

The company operating public transport in Stockholm may have lost out on as much as 1.5 billion kronor due to ticket fraud during the coronavirus crisis, according to a report from SVT.

Ticket fraud is thought to have increased after the capital region halted checks during the peak of the crisis as a way to reduce close contact between staff and commuters. But even despite a significant decrease in the number of ticket controls, more fines for fare evasion have been handed out, with the company estimating an increase in evasion from around 3 percent to at least 15 percent.

Swedish vocabulary: fare evasion — biljettfusk

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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Right bloc strikes government deal, Sweden Democrat to lead Sweden in OSCE, Russia's Nord Stream 'bewilderment', and inflation nears 10 percent: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Moderate leader strikes government coalition deal

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has completed his deal with the Sweden Democrat, Christian Democrat and Liberal parties, and will announce it at 10am on Friday, state broadcaster SVT has reported.

According to a story published at close to 11pm on Thursday night, the four parties will hold a press conference at 10am where they will lay out the details on the new government’s plans to reform Sweden over the next four years.

The agreement contains both policy details and details of which parties will be part of the coalition and how they will work together.

After the press conference, at 11am, Kristersson will visit the parliament’s Speaker Andreas Norlén to inform him that the deal is complete, after which the Speaker will call a parliamentary vote on Kristersson as prime minister, probably for Monday.

Swedish vocab: en överenskommelse – an agreement 

Far-right politician appointed to lead Sweden in OSCE

One of the leading politicians in the far-right Sweden Democrats has been appointed to lead Sweden in the OSCE, a body that monitors elections and seeks to bolster security in Europe.

Björn Söder, one of the so-called ‘gang of four’ who transformed the Sweden Democrats, has been appointed chair of the Swedish delegation of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The OSCE was founded in Helsinki in 1975 as a forum for discussion between the Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc and gained its current name in 1995.

Söder has faced criticism for saying in 2018 that in his opinion members of Sweden’s Sami and Jewish minorities were not Swedish. “They are recognised as minorities because they are not Swedish,” he argued, stressing that ethnicity and citizenship were two different concepts.

Many had expected the Sweden Democrats to put Söder forward as deputy speaker of the parliament, a position he held between 2014 and 2018, but the party instead nominated his less controversial colleague Julia Kronlid.

Swedish vocab: valobservatör – election monitor

Russia aggrieved at Germany, Denmark and Sweden over Nord Stream probe

Russia’s foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned envoys of Germany, Denmark and Sweden to express “bewilderment” over Moscow’s exclusion from an investigation into leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines.

Multiple leaks were discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia to Germany, further raising political tensions already sky high since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine in February. All four leaks were located near Danish island Bornholm.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the leaks were an act of “international terrorism” that would benefit the United States, Poland and Ukraine.

Both Moscow and Washington have denied responsibility for the leaks, which were discovered in late September. Germany, Sweden and Denmark have formed a joint investigation unit to probe the apparent sabotage.

“The heads of the diplomatic missions of Germany, Denmark and Sweden in Moscow have been summoned to the Russian foreign ministry in recent days,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: att kalla upp diplomater – so summon diplomats

More rate hikes on cards as Swedish inflation nears 10 percent

Inflation in Sweden hit a higher than expected 9.7 percent in September, making it likely that the country’s central bank will have to hike interest rates even more rapidly.

In a press release issued on Thursday morning, Statistics Sweden blamed “higher electricity prices and higher prices for groceries and alcohol-free drinks” for driving price increases over the month.

The rise was higher than market expectations of about 9.3 percent, judging by a survey carried out by Bloomberg, a financial news service.

The goods that saw the highest price increases were bread and other products made from grain, and coffee, the agency wrote. 

“This is high, well above the Riksbank’s target. That indicates we will see continued big [rate] hikes,” Annika Winsth, chief economist at Nordea, told the TT newswire. 

She said that it was likely now that the 50 point rate rise planned for November would be increased to 75 points. 

“Both households and companies need to be prepared for rates continuing to rise,” she said. 

Swedish vocab: att rusa – to soar (literally “rush”)