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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.

a woman holding a Covid-19 vaccine vial
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccinations is set to get under way in Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Vaccinations of over-80s get under way in Stockholm

The Stockholm region is now ready to start Phase Two of its Covid-19 vaccination programme – which includes the general public over the age of 65 – as the last of Sweden’s 21 regions. The priority list for this group will be based on age, so around 100,000 Stockholmers over the age of 80 will be called for the jab in the next fortnight.

Vaccinations of people born between 1942 and 1951 are currently scheduled to get under way in late March, early April.

Swedish vocabulary: age – ålder

Sweden’s parliament most gender equal in the EU

Last year, 49.6 percent of Sweden’s members of parliament were women. That’s the highest in the EU and far more than the EU average of 33 percent, writes news site Europaportalen. Hungary was at the bottom of the list, with 13 percent female MPs.

In the Swedish government, 52.2 of ministers are women, compared to the EU average of 32.7 percent. However, Sweden falls behind most countries when it comes to the head of government: Sweden and eight other member states have not had a single woman head of government since World War Two.

Swedish vocabulary: head of government – regeringschef

Sweden jails Isis mother who took two-year-old son to Syria

A Swedish woman has been locked up for three years for taking her young son with her when she travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State (Isis or IS).

The 31-year-old woman, who arrived in Syria via Turkey in mid 2014, was convicted of “arbitrary conduct with a child” for putting her then two-year-old son’s life at risk, the court said in a ruling obtained by AFP.

The woman plans to appeal the verdict, her lawyer told Swedish news agency TT.

Swedish vocabulary: verdict – dom

Swedish companies ‘soon least gender equal in the Nordic countries’

The share of women on the management of listed Swedish companies has stood still for five years, meaning Sweden risks soon having the least gender-equal business world of any Nordic country, a new report released for International Women’s Day has found.

According to the 10th annual report of AllBright, a group which campaigns for better representation of women on company boards and management teams, Sweden is set to be overtaken by Denmark to become the Nordic country with the lowest share of women in the management teams of the top companies by 2022, losing a leadership position it had as recently as 2015.

“Sweden is living on its past glories. Over the past five years, the share of women in the management teams of the biggest Swedish companies has stayed still at 25 percent, which was a high share five years ago. But it no longer looks that flattering compared to the neighbours,” Amanda Lundeteg, the campaign group’s chief executive, told the TT newswire. Read the full article (in English) here.

Swedish vocabulary: woman – kvinna

What does the Liberals’ switching of sides mean for Sweden’s next election?

The leaders of Sweden’s minority Liberal Party last week voted to stop propping up the country’s red-green coalition government and campaign alongside the centre-right Moderate party in the run-up to next year’s September general election. But they’re not pulling their support just yet. The Local explains what’s going on in this article.

Swedish vocabulary: party – parti

Öresund Bridge set to get new permanent speed cameras

The Danish government plans to place permanent speed checks from next year on the country’s two largest bridges, the Öresund Bridge that links the country to Sweden, and the Great Belt Bridge.

Permanent speed cameras will be set up from next year on the Great Belt Bridge, the 18-kilometre long fixed link connecting Zealand with Funen which was completed in 1998.

The no-less impressive Öresund Bridge, which crosses from the Swedish coast to the artificial Danish island of Peberholm, which is connected to Copenhagen via tunnel, will get the same treatment, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement.

Swedish vocabulary: speed check – fartkontroll

US criminologist lauds Malmö for anti-gang success

The US criminologist behind the anti-gang strategy designed to reduce the number of shootings and explosions in Malmö has credited the city and its police for the “utterly pragmatic, very professional, very focused” way they have put his ideas into practice.

In an online seminar with Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, David Kennedy, a professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said implementing his Group Violence Intervention (GVI) strategy had gone extremely smoothly in the city.

Malmö’s Sluta Skjut (Stop Shooting) pilot scheme was extended to a three-year programme this January, after its launch in 2018 coincided with a reduction in the number of shootings and explosions in the city.

“We think it’s a good medicine for Malmö for breaking the negative trend that we had,” Malmö police chief Stefan Sintéus said, pointing to the fall from 65 shootings in 2017 to 20 in 2020, and in explosions from 62 in 2017 to 17 in 2020.

Read the full article (in English) here.

Swedish vocabulary: shooting – skjutning

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

New moves towards Nato, Ukrainians to Lund, and a fall in online sales. Find out what's going on in Sweden, with The Local's short roundup.

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

Left-wing Aftonbladet newspaper backs Nato membership

The Aftonbladet newspaper, which describes itself as reflecting an “independent Social Democrat” viewpoint, has switched sides on Nato, with the newspaper’s chief political editor Anders Lindberg arguing in an editorial that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine makes membership of the security organisation necessary. 

“Vladimir Putin’s war demonstrates that we need to join Nato to guarantee Sweden’s security,” Lindberg wrote in an article on Wednesday.  

“I have never previously supported Swedish membership of Nato,” he explained. “On the contrary, I have argued that non-alignment, a strong national defence, and a pragmatic foreign and security policy has worked extremely well. It has kept us out of war and promoted our national interests.”  

But he said that Russia’s invasion had created a “security deficit in Northern Europe”. 

“When I read the arguments for continued military non-alignment, I cannot see any answers to the question of how we should compensate for this deficit,” he wrote. 

Swedish Vocab: en underksott – a deficit 

Finnish parliament to hold historic Nato debate 

The Finnish parliament is to hold a historic five-hour debate in parliament on Wednesday afternoon, which if it backs Nato membership, will make Nato membership for Sweden much more likely. 

The key will be the position taken by the Social Democrats, the part led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, and also of the Centre Party, who say they will back Nato membership if the government as a whole does. 

The debate starts at 1.15pm Swedish time. 

Swedish Vocab: en besked – an indication/statement

‘No evidence riots result of foreign influence operation’

The new Swedish Psychological Defence Agency said on Wednesday that there was no evidence the riots over the weekend were encouraged by overseas powers. 

“At present we do not see any ongoing inappropriate influence operations against Sweden,” said Mikael Östlund, the communications chief at the Swedish Psychological Defence Agency. 

Police on Monday said that ahead of the riots over the Easter weekend, they had seen encouragement coming from overseas social media accounts. 

“We know that they is information about encouragement to commit violence against police officers, which has been orchestrated overseas,” said Jonas Hysing, the police officer leading the response to the riots, on Monday. ¨

Swedish vocab: påverkanskampanj – influence operation 

Lund wants to recruit more Ukrainian students 

Lund University wants to make it easier for students from Ukraine to study in Sweden, and has signed an exchange agreement with the Taras Sjevtjenko University in Kiev, it announced in a press release. There were ten Ukrainians studying in lund before Russia’s invasion, and the university aims for that number to increase and for those who are studying to be offered grants. 

Swedish vocab: att locka – to attract 

Swedish PM: ‘Police right to allow Paludan to burn Koran’
 
Sweden’s Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, has said that the police decision to allow Danish far-Right activist Rasmus Paludan to hold
a Koran-burning demonstration was correct under Sweden’s strong freedom of expression laws, and that, equally, those opposed have a right to mount a counter demonstration. 
 
“You have the right to demonstrate against it – but peacefully. What we’ve seen is something totally different, and it seems, as police are saying, that there have also been criminal gangs behind this.” 
 
“It’s important,” she added, “that those responsible are arrested and prosecuted.” 
 
She said the pictures of the riots had been “terrible”. “I have of course had a lot of thoughts about the police officers who were wounded.”
 
Swedish vocab: yttrandefriheten – freedom of expression
 
 
E-commerce falls from pandemic peak in Sweden

Revenues from e-commerce sites in Sweden fell 17 percent in March compared to the same month last year, according to the Swedish Trade Federation, with all the signs being that sales will decline this year compared to 2021.  

“The growth in e-commerce is flattening out, but it’s also a fact that the average purchase level in March 2022 was still 70 percent higher than just before the pandemic. The relatively high revenues from e-commerce are shadowed by the record year we saw in 2021,” said Johan Davidson, the trade body’s chief economist. 

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