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

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 Wednesday
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking on the opening day of parliament. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Electricity prices set for record highs in southern Sweden

The cost of electricity has never been this high in southern Sweden, with the spot price on Wednesday averaging 163 öre per kWh. Swedish news agency TT reports that it is because there’s less water than normal in repositories, after a drier year than last year.

There’s also less wind than normal, not just in Sweden but in most of Europe, which affects electricity prices in southern Sweden the most. Increasing costs and usage of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal is also pushing up prices of fossil-free electricity (the main source of electricity in Sweden) due to emissions trading, writes TT.

Swedish vocabulary: cents or pennies – öre (there’s 10 öre to 1 krona)

Man jailed for spying for Russia

A Swedish tech consultant was on Wednesday handed a three-year jail sentence for selling sensitive information about truckmaker Scania to Russia. It was Sweden’s first espionage trial in 18 years.

The court found him guilty of espionage, saying he had copied “secret information” from Scania, which he had transferred to USB-drives and handed to a Russian embassy worker.

Swedish vocabulary: trial – rättegång

It’s snowing in Sweden – in August

Winter is coming. Five centimetres of snow fell in Övertorneå, northern Sweden, on Tuesday. Snow often falls early in mountainous areas (Tarfala at Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, has already seen snow this year), but it is relatively rare for the northern lowlands like Övertorneå to record this early a snowfall.

Swedish vocabulary: snow – snö

‘There is no place for racism in Sweden’

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven warned of xenophobia on his last opening session of parliament before he steps down as leader of the Social Democrats in November.

“There is no place for racism in Sweden. We will intensify our efforts to combat antisemitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, antigypsyism and racism against the Sami,” he told members of parliament in his speech.

Löfven also spoke about migration, including labour migration. He said: “Labour migration to Sweden is important to many growing and developing businesses. Expulsions of skilled people will stop, and a specific visa for highly qualified workers will be introduced. It is equally important to address the problem of exploitation of foreign workers. The legitimacy of labour migration can only be maintained by preventing fraud and injustice.”

You can read the full speech on the government’s website.

Swedish vocabulary: xenophobia – främlingsfientlighet

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