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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
Left, Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, and right, Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish right-wing parties put forward migration proposal

Sweden’s conservative bloc have put forward a proposal to fight the centre-left government’s new migration bill in committee. It’s a decision that will see the Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals unite with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats around a common migration policy for the first time.

They said they wanted to make the government’s bill more restrictive. The TT newswire reported that this would include removing some of the exemptions for permanent residence permits, and limiting the new residence permit for humanitarian reasons.

The four parties do not hold a majority in parliament with their 173 seats. They would need 175 votes for their proposal to go through. The Social Democrat-Green government’s original proposal would need all of their members’ votes, as well as the Centre and Left parties. The Left Party did not comment when approached by TT.

Swedish vocabulary: common – gemensam

Swedish party leader clash in TV debate

Sweden’s eight party leaders went head to head in a televised debate on Sunday evening, with the Sweden Democrats and Liberals insisting that their migration policies are completely different despite presenting a joint proposal just hours earlier.

“What do you have to offer other than intolerance,” Liberal leader Nyamko Sabuni, integration minister in the former centre-right government, asked the Sweden Democrats’ Jimmie Åkesson during a debate about asylum policies. “Are you going to bring the whole world [to Sweden]? Is that your idea?” she then asked her former ally, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf.

The parties also debated male violence against women, with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven calling for a “real discussion among us men about what constitutes masculinity. Hitting is not masculinity. We have to talk more about that among young boys”.

You can watch the full debate (in Swedish) on SVT Play.

Swedish vocabulary: party leader debate – partiledardebatt

Party leaders Nyamko Sabuni, left, and Jimmie Åkesson, foreground. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Corona protest organisers fined 30,000 kronor each

Four organisers of a protest against Sweden’s corona restrictions will be handed fines of, in total, 120,000 kronor, reports the Aftonbladet tabloid. Sweden’s temporary Pandemic Law bans public gatherings and events of more than eight people.

Stockholm police initially requested on Sunday that the around 600 protesters disperse voluntarily, but weren’t able to fully break up the demonstration until two hours later.

Swedish vocabulary: public gathering – allmän sammankomst

Midsummer herring feasts under threat from delayed EU deal

Swedes’ Midsummer celebrations next month may be under threat, as long-drawn-out EU fishing talks threaten to push up the price of crucial herring by as much as a fifth.

Although herrings are still fished both in the Baltic Sea and off Sweden’s West Coast, most of the pickled herring eaten in Sweden is in fact made from herring imported from Norway. But on Friday the existing agreement over the EEA financial mechanism, which among other things, regulates import duties on Norwegian herring, expired.

There is now a risk that the duty will be hiked to 20 percent just as the major pickled herring producers like Abba, and the big supermarkets begin preparing for the celebrations.

Swedish vocabulary: pickled herring – inlagd sill

Sweden warns of high levels of birch pollen

A forecast by the Pollenrapporten website warns that there is a risk of high or very high levels of birch pollen in southern and central Sweden in the coming days, which could cause runny noses, itchy eyes and fatigue among those who suffer from allergies.

The birch pollen season comes relatively late this year, due to a cold April, and rain later this week may bring the levels of pollen in the air down again. However, that’s down from very high levels. The TT newswire reports that the birch pollen levels in Sweden are around three to four times higher than last year.

Swedish vocabulary: birch pollen – björkpollen

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