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

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Polling booths in the Swedish church elections, which took place yesterday. PhotoÖ Erik Simander-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 budget to be presented today

Around 8am, Swedish Finance Minister (and likely next Social Democrat leader) Magdalena Andersson will present the government’s budget proposal for 2022. We already know that this will include policies to the tune of nearly 75 billion kronor, including a 12 billion kronor investment in climate and environmental initiatives, 8 billion to boost employment rates, and 10 billion for pandemic-related policies.

Keep an eye on for further budget news, including what the budget means for international residents.

Swedish vocabulary: autumn budget – höstbudget

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First results from Sweden’s church elections

The preliminary results are in from Sweden’s church elections, which had their final day of voting on Sunday.

Around half the national population is eligible to vote in these polls which decide who runs the Church of Sweden at the national, deacon and parish levels. Candidates come from a mix of groups, some with direct ties to political parties, others with political affiliation and others which are partisan.

The majority of the Church of Sweden’s members usually abstain from voting. At the last church election in 2017, only 19 percent voted, which was still the highest turnout since 1934. This year it was somewhat lower at 17.5 percent. According to the preliminary results, the Social Democrats remained the largest group, but still fell by three percentage points from the last election. The second largest group in the church is now a partisan one, Posk.

Swedish vocabulary: church election – kyrkoval

Covid entry restrictions could remain in place for years

Sweden’s restrictions on travel to the country could stick around for several years, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said in an interview with Dagens Nyheter.

“I think you will want to see vaccination certificates when traveling for a long time. That requirement may well remain for several years,” he said.

At the end of September, most of Sweden’s pandemic laws and recommendations will be lifted, but the entry rules are one exception. These will remain until at least the end of October, meaning that non-EU citizens travelling from most non-EU/EEA countries will be denied entry unless they fall into an exempt group (including people travelling for urgent family reasons or to move to Sweden, for example). At the moment, being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is not enough to be considered exempt from the entry ban, though the government has said it is looking into bringing in such an exemption for certain countries.

Swedish vocabulary: for several years – i flera år

Rise in evictions of young families

During the first six months of 2021, 273 children were affected by eviction, the highest number in six years and an increase of 28 from the previous years, according to a TT report citing new figures from the Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden). Three quarters of the families with children that were evicted were single parent families.

Davor Vuleta, an analyst at the authority, said that the high figure is due to the fact that many who were already financially vulnerable before the pandemic were also disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

“It is a worrying trend since 2018 and it does not feel good. The numbers have increased even more this year and we have received indications that it is due to the pandemic,” Vuleta told TT.

According to the Enforcement Office, some landlords and the tenants who had financial difficulties during the pandemic tried to agree on temporary solutions last year, including deferred or reduced rent.

Swedish vocabulary: families with children – barnfamiljer

An uncertain future for Afghans issued with deportation orders by Sweden

The Swedish Migration Agency paused all deportations to Afghanistan in mid-July due to the deteriorating security situation in that country. At that time, there were around 7,000 people in Sweden who had received expulsion or deportation orders to Afghanistan, for example if their requests for asylum were refused.

Around 700 of them have now applied to have their deportation order formally suspended, Sveriges Radio Ekot reports. 

The Swedish Migration Agency is expected to issue a new assessment of Afghanistan’s security situation now that the Taliban has taken power. This may mean that some Afghans in Sweden are entitled to a new asylum assessment, which in turn entitles them to housing support and a daily allowance.

Swedish vocabulary: uncertain – osäker

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