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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
Health Minister Lena Hallengren and EU Minister Hans Dahlgren joined virtually by Digitalisation Minister Anders Ygeman at Wednesday's press conference on the Covid-19 vaccine pass. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Umeå has Europe’s cleanest air

The northern Swedish city of Umeå has Europe’s cleanest air, according to a report from the European Environment Agency EEA, which is launching an interactive tool to compare air quality across 323 cities.

Umeå measured 3.7 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air, well below the EU limit of 25 and the lowest in Europe. The other Swedish cities included in the list so far (Uppsala, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) are also among the 127 cities categorised as having “good air”, all on the rights ide of both the EU’s limit and the World Health Organisation’s stricter upper limit of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Swedish vocabulary: air – luft

Sweden unveils plans for vaccine pass

The government and eHealth Agency on Wednesday presented plans for a vaccine pass to facilitate travel within the EU. This will be in place across the EU from July 1st, meaning that travellers who are vaccinated can use this to avoid other restrictions within the EU such as requirements for negative tests or quarantine.

Two new things we found out yesterday were that it will be possible to apply for the pass using a samordningsnummer if you don’t have a personnummer (it is still unclear how you get the pass if you have neither, but when The Local asked about this, the eHealth Agency said they would get back to us), and it will also be possible to get the pass if you had your first vaccine dose overseas and your second in Sweden. If you received both doses in another EU country, you should apply for that country’s version of the pass, while the situation remains unclear for people who received both doses outside the EU.

Swedish vocabulary: possible – möjlig

Third vaccine doses needed in winter?

A third dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 may be required as early as this winter for those in the most vulnerable groups (people aged over 80, living in care homes, or with a weakened immune system) according to the Public Health Agency, which produced a report for the government on the expected vaccine requirements over the next two years.

Sweden has currently given a first dose of the vaccine to just over half of all adults in the country, and a second dose to 28 percent, after pushing back its target date for all adults to be fully vaccinated from June to September.

Swedish vocabulary: third – tredje

Sweden extents its Covid-19 recommendations until autumn

Sweden’s recommendations for the general public on how they should act to curb the spread of Covid-19 were on Wednesday extended until at least September 30th, having previously been set to expire at the end of June. These include requirements for individuals to stay at home if they experience symptoms of Covid-19, to work from home to the extent possible, to keep a distance from other people, and to limit their new contacts by only socialising with their closest circle and avoiding environments where there is a risk of crowding.

Swedish vocabulary: closest circle – närmaste krets

Left Party’s ultimatum to the government expires today

Sweden’s Left Party on Tuesday gave the government a 48-hour deadline to throw out its proposal to abolish a hotly-debated rent cap on newbuilds – saying it would try to organise a vote of no-confidence if the government did not either scrap the plans or begin immediate negotiations with the Swedish Tenants’ Union.

Those 48 hours expire this morning, so we should soon find out if the Left Party will proceed with its plan. On its own, the party does not have enough MPs to put forward a no-confidence motion, so would rely on support from the Sweden Democrats at the opposite end of the left-right spectrum. Then, it would need a parliamentary majority to vote in favour of the motion in order for it to pass.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has not commented on the ultimatum, but Justice Minister Morgan Johansson has called it “unserious”.

Swedish vocabulary: no-confidence motion – misstroendeförklaring

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

Court rules on Easter rioters, a wolf shot in Skåne, Midsummer drownings, and Nato talks: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Court in Örebro to rule on four involved in Easter riots 

A court in Örebro will rule today on four men accused of throwing stones at police over the Easter weekend, and in some cases also filmed attacks on police and encouraged others to carry out attacks. 

The men are accused of the crime of blåljussabotage, literally “blue light sabotage”, which covers attacks on police officers and their cars and other equipment. 

According to the prosecution, the four men attacked and threatened police, damaged police vehicles, and injured police dogs. The attacks took place during protests against plans by the far-right activist Rasmus Paludan to burn copies of the Koran in the city. 

Swedish vocab: blåljussabotage – damaging police property and materials.

Two men drowned in lakes in Sweden over Midsummer weekend 

Police have reported two separate cases of elderly men drowning over the Midsummer weekend, one in Blekinge in southern Sweden, and the other in Vaxholm, outside Stockholm. 
In Blekinge, a  70-year-old man died after falling into the Halen lake in Olofström, on Sunday evening. He was pulled from the water before the ambulance arrived but was declared dead at 9pm. One of the man’s relatives called the emergency services. 

The man in Vaxholm, who was also described as “elderly”, died after falling overboard from a boat on Sunday afternoon. The man’s body was found by divers at 17.30pm.

Swedish vocab: en drunkningsolycka – a drowning accident 

Wolf shot in southern Sweden after attacking sheep

A wolf was shot on Sunday in Svälov, a municipality between the cities of Lund and Helsingborg in southern Sweden. The animal, one of the wolves spotted recently in the far south of Sweden, had attacked a sheep.

“The farmer fired off a warning shot to discourage further attacks, but that did not help, and so a deadly shot was then fired,” said Tom Espgård, who works on predatory animals for Skåne county. 

The wolf, a female weighing 34kg, was shot according to a paragraph in Sweden’s hunting law which allows livestock owners to shoot predators if they find them attacking their animals. 

Swedish vocab: en tamdjursägare – a livestock owner

Swedish PM: ‘I look forward to meeting Erdogan in Madrid’ 

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson responded positively to the downbeat assessment of Nato talks with Turkey given by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Saturday. 

“Good call earlier today with President Erdogan of Turkey on Sweden’s Nato application,” Andersson wrote on Twitter. “Agreed on the importance of making progress in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other Allied leaders.”

In a thread posted on Twitter, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey said that Erdogan had told Andersson that Sweden had so far taken “no tangible action” towards making “concrete changes in its attitude towards PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization”. 

The thread also said that Turkey wants several people it sees as connected to these organisations extradited from Sweden. 

Read our story on Erdogan’s comments here

Swedish vocab: utlämnade – extradited