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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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For members


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”)