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

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 Tuesday
File photo of a suitcase at Landvetter Airport, where several Brits were denied entry to Sweden. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Sweden's yule goat bucks the trend

A famous giant yule goat that usually gets burned down by arsonists well before Christmas has survived its fourth consecutive holiday season – a new record.

The town of Gävle on the east coast of Sweden has built the straw goat every Christmas since 1966. But more often than not it meets an untimely demise when it is burned down, stolen or vandalised.

On its 50th anniversary it got torched only hours after the official opening when one of the security guards went on a toilet break. Some of the more outrageous attempts on its life has included a failed helicopter plot and a gingerbread man and Santa Claus wielding a bow and burning arrow.

Swedish vocabulary: yule goat – julbock

Ski resort staff fired after party

Seasonal workers at the ski resort Vemdalen have been fired by their employer, Skistar, over a party held in staff accommodation. At least 13 were let go and they were given 24 hours to pack up and leave, reports the Aftonbladet newspaper, after a party attended by 18 people (five of whom were not employees) was held in an apartment for three.

The staff said they had not been given a chance to give their own explanation, but Skistar's CEO said the incident broke both its internal rules and the Public Health Agency's general advice to the public on preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Swedish vocabulary: seasonal workers – säsongsarbetare

Minister to meet criticised director after Canaries trip

Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg is set to meet Dan Eliasson – the head of the Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which is one of the agencies helping to lead Sweden's coronavirus planning – this week to discuss his criticised trip to Las Palmas.

“Everyone has a responsibility to follow the authorities' recommendations, avoid crowding, and keep the spread of infection down. I have seen the media reports of Dan Eliasson's trip, and my state secretary has been in touch with him,” Damberg said in a written statement reported by the TT news agency.

Although Eliasson did not break any laws, Swedish authorities have repeatedly urged people to limit their contacts by for example avoiding unnecessary travel. Just days before his trip, MSB sent a mass text to millions of people in Sweden urging everyone to “follow the new tighter advice in order to stop the spread of infection”.

“I found the trip necessary. I have a daughter who lives and works here. I spent Christmas with her and my family. I have given up a lot of trips during this pandemic, but I thought this one was necessary,” Eliasson told the Expressen newspaper.

Swedish vocabulary: Civil Contingencies Agency – Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (MSB)

Dan Eliasson, director-general of MSB, Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Brits held at Gothenburg airport after being denied entry into Sweden

A British teacher told The Local late on Monday that Swedish authorities had accepted her Covid-19 test after over 24 hours of being held at Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg.

She was the last to leave the airport and return to her home in Sweden, as one of several Britons on a flight from Manchester who were ordered to leave the country after border police said they lacked the appropriate Covid-19 tests that are currently required of non-Swedish nationals travelling from the UK, according to passengers on the flight. Some passengers refused, but some returned to the UK as instructed, they told The Local.

This was despite several of them actually being able to show a negative Covid-19 test, in some cases issued by the UK's national health service the NHS. Swedish police have later told The Local that they will accept negative tests issued by the NHS.

Swedish vocabulary: airport – flygplats

Ericsson chief worried about 'impact' of Sweden's ban on Huawei

The head of Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has said he is worried about Chinese reprisals after Sweden banned Huawei from taking part in the rollout of 5G networks.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced it was excluding Huawei and ZTE, both from China, from its 5G frequency auction in late October, citing security concerns. Equipment already installed from the Chinese manufacturers must be removed by January 1st, 2025.

“I hope there will be no impact,” Börje Ekholm told daily Dagens Nyheter in an interview. “China accounts for eight percent of our revenue. For us it has been a strategically important issue to be present in China,” Ekholm added.

Over the weekend, the newspaper published text messages between Ekholm and Swedish Trade Minister Anna Hallberg in which he asked the government to “talk” with the telecoms regulator.

Swedish vocabulary: text message – textmeddelande

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