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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Out by the water in Malmö yesterday evening after a day of 25C temperatures. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Sweden’s Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation resigns

Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan, the first immigrant to become a government minister in Sweden, has announced he will resign when Prime Minister Stefan Löfven leaves his role in autumn.

“I came to the conclusion that it may be time to do something else after 25 years,” Baylan told Swedish TV on Thursday.

He said he had not completely decided on his plans after the party’s change of leadership, but that he may take up his seat as an MP again and stand for elections.

Baylan has become known as someone Löfven relies on to help resolve tricky political issues, such as a 2016 energy agreement between the Social Democrat-Green government, the Centre Party, Christian Democrats and Moderates, and more recently negotiations on forestry policies to get agreement between the Green and Centre parties ahead of the autumn’s budget vote.

He first became a minister in 2004, then as Minister of Education in a  government led by Göran Persson.

Swedish vocabulary: Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation – Näringsminister

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How is Sweden’s economy affected by re-opening plans?

One sign that many people in Sweden are starting to return to normality is an increase in sales of clothing and footwear in August, by 26.2 and 22.5 percent year-on-year. Looking back on 2019, that’s only a 3.5 percent rise for clothes sales and a 14 percent decline in shoe shopping.

Meanwhile, there’s a risk that in the short term it could be difficult for restaurants and events companies to hire enough staff as the restrictions are lifted. 

“Some professions are also important for creating other jobs, without a chef there will be no serving staff or dishwashers for example.

For those industries that are in great need of staff after the pandemic shutdowns, it can be tough if they do not succeed in recruiting when society reopens,” Magnus Wallerå, head of education, research and innovation at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, told TT.

Swedish vocabulary: chef– kock

Nominations keep coming for Magdalena Andersson

A total of 12 of Sweden’s Social Democrat party districts have now nominated Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson as the new party leader, to replace Stefan Löfven. This means that so far, Andersson has no opponent.

The latest districts to put her name forward were Uppsala and Örebro. The districts have until October 1st to submit their choice, and the election will take place at the party congress in early November in Gothenburg. 

Swedish vocabulary: opponent (in an election) – motkandidat

Swedish parents denied request to name son Putin

A couple in Halland have to come up with a new name for their son after their application to name him Putin was denied by Sweden’s Tax Agency, P4 Halland reports. The agency can refuse names that are considered offensive or could cause problems for the named person, or resemble a known surname.

Swedish vocabulary: to name/baptise – döpa

China’s ambassador criticises Sweden over support for Taiwan

China’s ambassador to Sweden has criticised a Swedish statement in support of Lithuania, after the Baltic country took steps to develop links with Taiwan. China considers Taiwan to be a part of China, and has often spoken out against countries treating it instead as an independent country.

Now China’s ambassador to Sweden has criticised the chairperson of the Swedish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee over a statement he signed in support of Lithuania, which recently decided to exchange diplomatic offices in Taipei, and to recognise it as Taiwanese. In response, China recalled its ambassador from Vilnius, and the statement signed by parliamentarians from 14 countries criticised China’s pressure on Lithuania.

Swedish vocabulary: diplomacy – diplomati

Sweden extends application deadline for post-Brexit residence status

British nationals and their family members who lived in Sweden under EU rules before the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020, may continue to live in Sweden as before – as long as they apply for a new “residence status” (uppehållsstatus). The Swedish government on Thursday extended the application period from September 30th until December 31st 2021, giving Brits who haven’t yet applied another chance to do so.

Swedish vocabulary: apply – ansöka

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