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

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 on Friday
It was a historically mild November in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Prime Minister to hold press conference with vaccine coordinator

There's another government press conference scheduled for this morning, with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Health and Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren and Sweden's vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström. We will post any important updates from the conference on our homepage or in our coronavirus blog.

It's likely to be about prioritisation for a coronavirus vaccine, with Bergström having told Dagens Nyheter that Sweden will have at least four million doses of a vaccine before Easter. No vaccines have yet been approved for use in Sweden and the EU, but the UK became the first country to approve a vaccine by Pfizer this week. Like in other countries, Sweden has already said the vaccine will first be given to high priority groups such as the elderly and others at risk of serious illness from the coronavirus, and healthcare staff.

Swedish vocabulary: vaccine – vaccin


Vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Temporary visiting ban at elderly care homes in 32 municipalities

The Public Health Agency has temporarily banned visits to elderly care homes in several parts of the country, including Stockholm and much of the surround area, as well as Sölvesborg, Skara, Lyeskil, Landskrona and Dorotea.

It's the first decision of its kind to be made after the agency made local bans possible in late November. To receive them, municipalities must show that they have first taken their own infection prevention measures. The ban came into effect immediately on Thursday and is initially valid until December 12th.

Stockholm mayor Anna König Jerlmyr said she was pleased the ban was now allowed, after the city earlier introduced its own ban despite it not being legal. But König Jerlmyr, a member of the opposition Moderate Party, said the move came late and was cumbersome. “We already see that it is an extensive decision-making process that they [the Public Health Agency] demand. The risk is that it will be so difficult that we get our decisions several weeks after our infection peaks,” she told the TT newswire.

Swedish vocabulary: visiting ban – besöksförbud

Maria Edlund, 103, lives at the Attendo Flottiljen elderly care home in Järfälla. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden's schools for over-16s shift back to remote learning

Sweden's upper secondary schools are again closing their doors to students from Monday until after Christmas.

The decision means that upper secondary schools (generally teenagers aged around 16-18 in Sweden) will have to quickly switch back to online teaching for the rest of the semester, from December 7th until January 6th.

Swedish vocabulary: upper secondary school – gymnasium

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Sweden's unusually mild autumn sets spate of November records

Higher-than-normal temperatures in southern and central Sweden contributed to a record-breaking month of November.

On November 2nd and 6th, new records for the month of November were set in several places – the highest temperature measured being 18.4C, in Gladhammar on November 6th. This weather record is similar to the Swedish heat record for November that was recorded in Ugerup in Skåne on November 2nd, 1968.

Swedish vocabulary: to break a record – slå ett rekord

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Iran postpones execution of Iranian-Swedish academic

The wife of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali said that she had been informed by her husband's lawyer that Iranian authorities had decided to postpone his execution for “some days”.

Mehran Nia told AFP she believed the postponement was related to “political issues” in Iran, and even if it was a “good sign” she was unsure what it meant for her husband's chances.

Swedish vocabulary: academic – akademiker

Ahmadreza Djalali's wife Vida Mehran Nia. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts or questions about life in Sweden, you are always welcome to email our editorial team at [email protected].

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

Plan to slash peak power demand, Löfven to lead EU socialists, and right-wing bloc agreed on stricter migration: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden’s parties united on plan to slash peak power consumption by 5-10 percent

Sweden’s Social Democrat caretaker government has agreed with the incoming Moderate-led government that the country should take action to cut power consumption at peak times by between 5-10 percent, something outgoing energy minister Khashayar Farmanbar says could “at least halve power prices” if successfully done across the European Union. 

“We stand behind the ambition to reduce consumption,” said Carl-Oskar Bohlin, the Moderate Party’s power spokesperson, after a meeting on Wednesday of the parliament’s Committee on Industry and Trade. “Then there are questions of how that should happen practically in real terms. In Sweden, electricity use is largely dependent on the outside temperature. If we have a mild winter, it will be extremely easy to hit the 5 percent target, if we have a really harsh winter, it might be impossible.”

Swedish vocab: en sträng vinter – a harsh winter

Former PM Stefan Löfven in line to lead Social Democrats in the EU

Sweden’s former prime minister is in line to lead the Party of European Socialists, the umbrella party for Social Democrats in the European Union, after the party’s current chair, Sergej Stanisjev, from Bulgaria, stood down.

“Stefan was the force behind the Gothenburg Social Summit which proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights: the landmark step forward for a Social Europe,” Stanisjev said in a press message. “I know he will bring this same leadership and vision to the historic challenges Europe faces today.”

Löfven is the sole candidate for the post, and will likely be voted in at the party’s congress in Berlin on October 14th and 15th. 

Swedish vocab: den europeiska pelaren – the European Pillar

Sweden’s right-wing bloc ‘agreed on stricter migration policy’: report

The four parties backing Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson to become Sweden’s next Prime Minister have already agreed on stricter migration and crime policies, a source has told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

According to the source, who the paper said “had insight into the negotiations to form a new government”, the four parties have also reached agreement on who should be voted in as Speaker of the country’s Riksdag parliament when the role goes up for a vote on Monday.

“We are counting on all parties sticking to [the agreed] line,” the source told the newspaper. “Everything is being negotiated as one comprehensive solution, as a packet, and the role of Speaker is part of that whole.”

“We have agreed that we should have a stricter migration policy, and we have also agreed on having longer prison sentences for criminals,” the source added.

The talks between Kristersson’s Moderate Party, the Sweden Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Liberal Party have been continuing for ten days, with most of the negotiations taking place at the Moderate Party’s premises, and precautions taken so that as little as possible leaks from the discussions.

Swedish Vocab: regeringsförhandlingarna – the government negotiations 

Sweden’s union federation warns of increased layoffs after rate hike

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) has warned that the Riksbank’s decision to hike its key interest rate on Tuesday risks increasing the number of people being laid off by companies.

Laura Hartman, the chief economist at LO, said that the union was already seeing the number of people being laid off by their employers increase as Sweden’s economy started to enter a slow-down.

“Unfortunately, it’s looking pretty grim and it’s not been made any better by the interest rate decision,” she said. “We are on the way into an economic slowdown, and the Swedish Public Employment Service has also said that we are on the way into a period of higher unemployment.”

She said that the unions that are part of her confederation had already started reporting members losing their jobs.

“We are seeing that redundancies are beginning to climb upwards. That’s the signal we’re getting from our unions. This is to do with the downturn in the business cycle, which is getting worse. We don’t have any numbers for it, but our latest forecast for June had growth of 1-2 percent.”

Swedish vocab: varslen – redundancies

Sweden’s new immigrant party gets first elected positions

Sweden’s new immigrant party, Nyans, has won council seats in the port city of Landskrona and the Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka, the first elected positions it has won since it was founded in 2019.

Ever since the September 11th election, it has been touch and go whether the party would make it over the two percent threshold to enter the council in the Landskrona, but after the vote count was finally complete on Wednesday morning, the party had gained its first council seat.

The party also won 2.03 percent of the votes in Botkyrka, a tiny margin over the 2 percent threshold. The party’s leader Mikail Yüksel has retroactively registered himself as living in the municipality so that he can claim the seat. 

“It feels super exciting to get the chance to affect and experience how political work takes place on the city council,” the party’s lead candidate in Landskrona, Sead Busuladzic, told Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT.

“You don’t get that much influence with only one mandate, but we want to raise the importance of issues around integration and segregation, and around creating more meeting places where people’s prejudices can be challenged. Too many people live in their own bubbles and don’t meet one another.”

Landskrona was also the city where the far-right Sweden Democrats first broke through in a big way, back in 2006, winning 22 percent of the votes in the municipal election and gaining eight seats on the local council.

Although Nyans (which translates as “nuance” in English) is open to people of all faiths and backgrounds on paper, it particularly seeks to appeal to and represent Muslim immigrants and has called for Muslims to be declared an official minority in the country.

Swedish vocab: den slutliga rösträkningen – the final vote count