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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Green Party leaders Per Bolund and Märta Stenevi with Ahmed Abdirahman, founder of the Järvaveckan political festival, which is under way this week from a studio in Rinkeby. A new poll shows that the Greens would lose their seats in parliament if an election were held today. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Lyme disease vaccine pilot project to be rolled out in Sweden

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer will test a new vaccine against lyme disease in six European countries, reports public radio broadcaster P4 Blekinge. In Sweden, the vaccine will be tested in Jämjö and Rödeby, in the southern Blekinge region.

Lyme disease is spread to humans via ticks, and causes no symptoms in around half of all people who catch it. For others, it can cause skin redness, headaches, and pain, and can attack the nervous system. Symptoms usually appear between two and six weeks after the bite, but can take longer. It is already possible to get vaccinated against Sweden’s other main tick-borne disease, Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).

Swedish vocabulary: Lyme disease – borrelia

Parliamentary inquiry to reveal verdict on Sweden’s coronavirus strategy

The Swedish parliament’s Committee on the Constitution is set to present its report today, after investigating the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The inquiry, launched by opposition policitian Tobias Billström, quizzed several high-profile decision-makers and ministers, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. It mainly looked into five broad areas: Has the government properly grounded its decisions on factual evidence? Has the government’s communication around the Swedish strategy been correct and sufficiently clear? Has the government’s crisis management and crisis leadership been in accordance with the precautionary principle? Should the government have had a better “constitutional readiness”?

The Committee will present its findings at a press conference at noon. We will cover it on The Local later today, but you can also watch it in Swedish on the Riksdag website.

Swedish vocabulary: Committee on the Constitution – Konstitutionsutskottet (KU)

Maternity unit reported after wrong information about fetal cremation

A woman in Härnösand, north-eastern Sweden, who had to undergo a medical abortion just over a year ago after fetal anomalies were discovered, was told that the fetus would be cremated and buried in a memorial garden. But almost a year later they found out that they had been given the wrong information by the hospital, and instead the fetus was disposed of as medical waste, reports regional newspaper Allehanda.

According to the maternity unit, the pregnancy was only a day away from the cut-off point where unborn fetuses are cremated, but the staff who told her that hers would be were not sure of the exact date. The unit has made an internal report and the woman and her partner have reported the incident to Sweden’s Health and Social Care Inspectorate.

Swedish vocabulary: The Health and Social Care Inspectorate – Inspektionen för vård och omsorg (IVO)

The party is in big trouble’: How Swedes would vote if an election were held today

The Liberal Party and the co-governing Greens would lose their seats in parliament if Sweden went to the polls today, according to a major party preference survey.

The survey, published on Wednesday by Statistics Sweden, estimates that the governing centre-left Social Democrats would still win the largest share of the votes, with the conservative Moderate Party coming second, and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats third. The minority Liberal Party suffered an overall decrease of 3 percentage points compared to Sweden’s last election in 2018. The survey estimates that 0.5 percent of voters would switch from the Liberals to the Centre Party.

We spoke with political scientist Nicholas Aylott to find out why this matters for Sweden’s next election (which is set to be held in September next year).

Swedish vocabulary: election – (ett) val

How Sweden could bring in tougher sentences for sex offenders

A new government inquiry suggests locking convicted rapists up for at least three years, one year more than Sweden’s current two-year minimum jail sentence.

The proposal comes after Sweden’s Social Democrat-Green government in January 2020 appointed a commission to look into stricter laws and sentencing of sexual crimes. Led by court of appeal judge Göran Nilsson, the commission included experts from Lund University, the police and the National Board of Health and Welfare, and it presented its findings and final conclusions earlier this week.

Swedish vocabulary: jail – (ett) fängelse

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