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

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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Police at the scene of a shooting in Malmö last week. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

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


Want to buy an abandoned Swedish house?

There are several uninhabited houses in the countryside of those rural areas of Sweden that are suffering from depopulation as residents pick up and move to the cities.

But the municipality of Lessebo in the south-eastern Småland region is hoping to turn the tide. It is currently carrying out an inventory of old houses without residents in the municipality, and will next try to find the owners, and ask them if they want to sell.

It hopes that more available homes in the countryside will convince more to move to the area, reports Swedish public broadcaster SVT, which covered the story earlier today.

Swedish vocabulary: abandoned – övergiven/övergivet

The more urban parts of Lessebo. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT


Sweden's ill-fated yule goat is back

A 13-metre straw goat, whose main claim to fame is that it is more often destroyed by arsonists than not, has made its annual return to the central Swedish town of Gävle.

Normally tens of thousands of people gather to watch the goat being assembled in the town square, but this year the event was held online due to coronavirus restrictions.

Gävle has built the straw goat every Christmas since 1966, but it often meets an untimely demise when it is burned down, stolen or vandalised (some of the more outrageous attempts on its life have included a failed helicopter plot and a gingerbread man and Santa Claus wielding a bow and burning arrow). However, last year it set a new record after surviving three consecutive Christmases – will this year be the fourth?

Swedish vocabulary: yule goat – julbock (technically yule buck)

The 2020 incarnation of the Gävle straw goat. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT


What Brits need to know about post-Brexit driving licences

Holders of UK driving licences will be able to continue using their licence in Sweden, even if they have been living in Sweden for more than a year, the Swedish government has decided. This means that even after December 31st, Brits will not have to swap their licence for a Swedish one after a year, which is normally the case for non-EU residents. This applies to all British licences, not just those belonging to Brits already living in Sweden today.

However, as UK driving licences are connected to a UK address, Brits who wish to stay in Sweden in the long term may still want to exchange theirs for a Swedish licence.

Many Brits may already have changed their licences when they were advised to do so by Swedish authorities more than a year ago. The Swedish transport ministry told The Local last year that they had hoped to have a permanent solution in place well before March this year, but on Monday morning a spokesperson told us that the corona pandemic had unfortunately delayed a lot of decision-making processes, including this one.

Swedish vocabulary: driving licence – körkort

A Swedish driving licence. Photo: Erik Simander/TT

New figures on fatal shootings in Sweden

A total of 43 people have been killed in shootings in 2020, one more than the year before but so far still fewer than in 2018 when there were 45 fatal shootings, reports the Swedish public radio broadcaster's news programme Ekot.

Most of them are linked to organised crime, and take place in troubled suburbs in power grabs over the drug trade. Stockholm county makes up an increasingly large part of the fatal shootings – this year around half, reports Ekot.

Swedish vocabulary: organised crime – organiserad brottslighet

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