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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
It's a big week for Brits in Sweden. Photo: AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Moderate Party presents new manifesto

Sweden's largest opposition party, the conservative Moderates which have become more hard-line on immigration in recent years, has presented a proposal for a new manifesto. Speaking on Saturday, party leader Ulf Kristersson focused on crime and integration. “If we want to break segregation and stop crime we have to significantly reduce immigration,” the TT news agency quoted him as saying.

A total of 115,805 people became resident in Sweden in 2019 (this includes Swedish citizens moving back to Sweden), according to Statistics Sweden, down form 163,005 in 2016, a year after the refugee crisis, when the former Moderate leader famously called on Swedes to “open their hearts”.

The Migration Agency received 21,958 new asylum applications in 2019 (down from 162,877 in 2015), and 140,867 various new residence permit applications, most of which were work permits (59,308. There were no statistics immediately available all the way back from 2015, but there were 38,400 applications in 2017 and 49,100 in 2018). The agency granted 27 percent of asylum cases it processed in 2019 (6,540 out of 24,569).

The new manifesto – which will be voted on at a party conference in November next year – also suggests “strong but limited” state action on welfare. The Moderates released their last manifesto in 2011 which was titled “Responsibility for all of Sweden”. The new manifesto is called “Freedom and responsibility”.

Swedish vocabulary: freedom and responsibility – frihet och ansvar

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

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See also on The Local:

Record waits for unemployment insurance

Thousands of people have lost their job in Sweden during the pandemic, and the countries unemployment insurance funds are now working their way through a substantial backlog, reports Swedish public radio SR. Members of Alfa-kassan faced the longest wait in September: 22 weeks without receiving benefits.

Members of the funds for small businesses (Småföretagarna) and hotel and restaurants (Hotell- och restauranganställdas a-kassa) had to wait 20 and 17 weeks, respectively.

But the queues are slowly growing shorter, reports SR.

Swedish vocabulary: unemployment insurance – a-kassa

Swedish bank notes. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Chef quits after harassment allegations

Well-known chef Stefano Catenacci has quit his job at iconic restaurant Operakällaren after the ETC and Expressen newspapers last week published statements from women alleging that he had subjected staff to sexual harassment over the course of years.

“I take these accusations seriously and want to apologise from the bottom of my heart to those people who feel I have behaved in an inappropriate way or abused my leadership,” he wrote in the DN newspaper on Sunday, but denied any allegations of sexual violence.

Swedish vocabulary: chef – kock

Stefano Catenacci. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Don't forget to pay your tax arrears

Around 200,000 people still owe the Swedish Tax Agency Skatteverket a total of 6.3 billion kronor in tax arrears. The deadline to pay it is November 12th for most people.

If you miss the deadline, you'll also have to pay expensive interest on the arrears, and any taxes not paid by January will be handed over to Sweden's debt collection agency.

The only exception is if your remaining taxes are less than 100 kronor, in which case you can leave it until next tax season and it will accumulate relatively little interest.

If you're eligible to pay tax in Sweden, you should have been sent a final tax statement earlier this year, which told you if you were owed money back or had to pay arrears.

Swedish vocabulary: tax arrears – kvarskatt

The Swedish Tax Agency. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish parliament to vote on post-Brexit residence bill

The Swedish parliament is set to vote on a bill meant to protect British residents' right to stay in Sweden after 2020 on Wednesday. This is the last stage of the legal process, and it is expected to go through without a hitch.

The government proposes a ten-month application period, starting from December 1st, during which Brits will need to apply to the Swedish Migration Agency for a new residence status. Those who are granted the new residence status will be given proof of this in the same format as a residence permit card, which will state whether you have residence or permanent residence, which is based on how long you've lived in Sweden.

The Local has previously asked the Migration Agency whether you need to be formally registered as living in Sweden with a personal number before December 31st to show you're legally resident, and we were told you only need to have physically made the move. Having a personal number obviously makes it easier, but:

“An applicant is free to use any type of documentation to prove his or her case. However, examples that could be used are rental or tenancy agreements as well as invoices for the rent,” a Migration Agency spokesperson told The Local in August.

Swedish vocabulary: residence status – uppehållsstatus

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