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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
Five things on the news agenda in Sweden today. Picture shows a Malmö sunset: Johan Nilsson/TT

Researchers criticise migration law proposals

More than 100 researchers in areas including migration and health have criticised the government’s proposals for a new migration law, which are set to be voted on later this month.

In an article in Göteborgs-Posten, they state that the proposals will lead to increased tensions and worsened integration due to the suggested changes like making temporary residence permits the norm and introducing more requirements for permanent residence.

They write that the law will “lead to a marginally reduced immigration at the cost of sharply deteriorating integration and widening gaps in society”.

Swedish vocabulary: criticism – kritik

New Covid-19 restrictions in Värmland amid rising infections

On a national level, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Sweden is falling, but the picture looks different depending on where you are in the country.

In Värmland, local authorities fear the so-called delta variant, first discovered in India, has spread in the region, after new cases began to rise following a seven-week downward trend.

Until Midsummer, new restrictions will be in effect, mainly relating to sports and leisure activities for young people with organisers asked to cancel tournaments, matches and cups.

People who have received only one vaccine dose will also no longer be left out of contact tracing efforts in the region, which was previously the case. Now only people who have received both doses, the second one at least two weeks earlier, are exempt. You can read more about the restrictions on the region’s website.

Swedish vocabulary: leisure activities – fritidsaktiviteter

Most people in Sweden want nationally run healthcare

Only one in four people in believe that the government did a good job of handling healthcare during the pandemic, according to a new Novus survey from the Swedish Medical Association.

The union writes that Sweden’s system of having healthcare run by its 21 regions has led to unequal access to care, which is clear from queues for healthcare which are growing at different rates across the country.

64 percent of the respondents (almost 4,500 people aged 18 to 79 interviewed in April 2021) answered that the state should be responsible for healthcare, not the regions.

“What access to care is provided should not depend on where in the country you live,” Sofia Rydgren Stale, chair of the association, said in a statement. “Sweden is a small country, but despite that, our healthcare functions as 21 independent countries when the regions are allowed to design the care according to their own taste.”

Swedish vocabulary: survey – undersökning

Consumption increases as restrictions are lifted

The impact of Sweden’s re-opening plan is reflected in statistics from Swedbank in where people are spending their money, after opening times for bars and restaurants were pushed back and the numbers allowed at events were increased from June 1st. 

Consumption in Sweden rose by 12 percent in the first week of June compared with the corresponding week in 2020, and in a comparison with 2019 it was 1.3 percent higher. The effect was particularly noticeable in the restaurant and hotel sector, increasing by 20 percent compared with the week before.

“It seems that the relaxation of restrictions has had a rapid effect on consumption. But also the lower spread of infection and the warmer weather may have contributed,” Andreas Wallström, head of forecasting at Swedbank, said in a statement.

Swedish vocabulary: compared with – jämfört med

FBI say a Swedish man behind crime gang that led to major sting

Several Swedish media report that a 37-year-old Swedish man has been singled out as one of the key figures behind an encrypted platform that was targeted in a global police sting this week.

Out of a total of over 800 arrests across 16 countries, 155 arrests were tied to Swedish investigations and another 100 were arrested in Finland. 

According to the American FBI, the Swede, who has a previous conviction for a serious drug offence, is suspected as one of three people who had a central role. He is thought to be on the run in Turkey.

Swedish vocabulary: to suspect – misstänka

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