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

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 Monday
Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden and China in diplomatic row over ‘threatening statements’

The Chinese embassy has slammed Sweden’s Christian Democrat and Sweden Democrat parties after they demanded the expulsion of ambassador Gui Congyou. The two parties, and other Swedish parties, criticised the ambassador after he sent a letter to Swedish journalist Jojje Olsson in which he urged the journalist to cease his critical reporting about China or “face the consequences of [his] own actions”.

“One who gives roses to others is the first to smell the flavor, but one who throws mud at others has dirt in the hand,” wrote the Chinese embassy in a statement.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told the Expressen newspaper that it was “completely unacceptable that an embassy makes threatening statements against a journalist” but that Sweden would not expel the ambassador in response, saying it was important to keep diplomatic lines of communication open.

Swedish vocabulary: embassy – ambassad

Stockholm’s hotel industry rocked by pandemic

The pandemic has hit the Swedish hotel industry hard, with the capital city of Stockholm bearing the brunt, according to Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Income from accommodation in March this year went down 78 percent in Stockholm compared to March 2019, and 66 percent in Sweden overall, new figures show.

Stockholm hotels had an occupancy rate of 20 percent in March 2021 (compared to 64 percent in March 2019). The national average was 25 percent in the same month (down from 61 percent), according to the report by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Swedish vocabulary: occupancy rate – beläggningsgrad

Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren diagnosed with breast cancer

Sweden’s Health Minister Lena Hallengren recently had breast cancer surgery at a hospital in Kalmar, south-eastern Sweden, she revealed in a post on Instagram. She will now undergo chemotherapy during spring and summer, and intends to continue working if possible.

“I have received very good care, fantastic support from my loved ones, and I am optimistic that my treatment will go well,” she wrote.

All women in Sweden aged 40-74 get called to a mammogram – breast screening – every other year, and it is free of charge. You can read more in English on national healthcare website 1177.

Hallengren made the announcement a day after she appeared before a parliamentary committee to answer questions about Sweden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Swedish vocabulary: breast cancer – bröstcancer

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lena Hallengren (@lena_hallengren)

Avicii to get memorial site in Stockholm

Swedish artist and producer Avicii (Tim Bergling), who died aged 28 in 2018, will get a memorial site in the Humlegården park of Stockholm’s Östermalm district. The idea is that it will be a place to sit and remember the artist, listen to his music and pay respects to those who have fallen victim to mental illness, writes public broadcaster SVT.

The memorial site is set to open ahead of summer 2022.

Swedish vocabulary: remember – minnas

Swedish artist Avicii. Photo: Amy Sussman/Invision/AP

What you need to know about Sweden’s digital currency bid

Sweden has taken one step closer to launching the country’s own digital currency, following on from plans which have been in the pipeline since 2016.

The digital currency, called the e-krona, recently passed the first pilot stage, the country’s Central Bank (the Riksbank) announced in a press release.

But what does it all mean, and how likely is it that Sweden is indeed going to get an e-krona any time soon? The Local takes a closer look at the issue in this article.

Swedish vocabulary: currency – valuta

In case you missed it: Stockholm to open vaccinations to all adults by mid-May

Stockholm’s health authority hopes to be able to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to all adults over the age of 18 by the middle of May, the region’s vaccine coordinator said on Friday.

The coordinator, Magnus Thyberg, said that the region hoped to start vaccinating those between the ages of 65 and 69 in “just over a week”, those between the ages of 60 and 65 in the week starting April 26th (Week 17), and those between 18-59 in the week starting May 10th (Week 19), with several large scale vaccination centres set to open in May to handle the increased number of inoculations.

But he warned that this timeline will only be met if the Public Health Agency of Sweden begins to share vaccines between regions based on the size of the population of 18-59 year-olds, a shift it has said it intends to make later this month.

Swedish vocabulary: timeline – tidslinje

In case you missed it: The key points of Sweden’s new migration bill

The Swedish government last week pushed ahead with plans to change Swedish migration law – including changes to the maintenance requirement for family members and a new Swedish language requirement for permanent residents (although the latter is still at the very early stages). The Local read the draft bill, and tried to explain the key points and what they mean for you in this article, which is exclusively for members.

Swedish vocabulary: maintenance requirement – försörjningskrav

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