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

police at crime scene after shooting in gävle
One person has died after a shooting in the Swedish city of Gävle. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Prime ministerial negotiations with party leaders ongoing

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has formally stepped down – but it is not yet clear exactly when his successor will be appointed.

Löfven handed in his formal resignation to the speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, on Wednesday. But that doesn’t mean his successor as leader of the Social Democrat Party, Magdalena Andersson, will automatically become the next prime minister.

Norlén is held a series of individual meetings with the party leaders of all the eight parties represented in parliament on Thursday.

This is known as a talmansrunda (talman means speaker of parliament and runda means round or turn), a Swedish word and concept we have become very familiar with in the fragile political balance of the past three years.

After that, he announced that he would give Andersson the first shot at forming a government. She has until 10am on Tuesday next week to report back to Norlén. If she has secured enough support from the other parties in parliament, a prime ministerial vote can be held on November 18th, and if she is successful in that vote her new government can take over on November 22nd.

Andersson will also have the option of asking Norlén on Tuesday for more time.

Swedish vocabulary: prime minister – statsminister

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Death after shooting in Gävle

One person died after a shooting in Swedish east coast city Gävle, newswire TT reports. Police received reports from a number of individuals about a shooting just before 2.30 on Thursday morning, and a police patrol subsequently located the victim outdoors.

The police reported early on Thursday morning via their website that the injured individual had died, and have begun preliminary murder investigations.

“We’re still working at the scene. We have closed off the area and are currently searching the area with dogs,” Magnus Jansson Klarin, police press spokesperson, told TT.

He did not want to discuss details about the victim or the events leading up to the incident. “There are people we need to speak to, and we have obviously spoken to some people as well. Before we have finished talking to the people we need to talk to, we can’t disclose anything,” he said.

Two people were at the time of publication being held in connection with the shooting.

Rate of unemployment returns to pre-pandemic levels

According to new statistics from the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), unemployment dropped to 7.3 percent in October this year. In October last year, the unemployment rate was higher at 8.8 percent, reports newswire TT.

This means that the rate of unemployment is now the same as it was in February 2020, just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve seen an improvement since the summer of 2020. Restrictions have been removed during the autumn and the labour market has started up again, and demand for labour has been very high,” said Sandra Offesson, labour market analyst at Arbetsförmedlingen.

Professions currently experiencing a demand for labour include salespeople, customer service personnel, as well as restaurant and kitchen staff. Other professions which commonly suffer from a lack of staff such as nurses, home care personnel and primary teachers are also included in this list.

The number of long-term unemployed – those who have been out of work for more than a year – is also going down. October was the third month in a row where this declined, now standing at 184,000.

However, Arbetsförmedlingen is seeing an increase in the number of people who have been away from the labour market for longer – over two years.

Swedish vocabulary: unemployment – arbetslöshet

Scanian geese shortage raises worries for Mårtensafton celebrations this week

Residents of southern Swedish county Scania – Skåne in Swedish – hoping to celebrate Mårtensafton this week with a traditional goose dinner may have to make alternate dinner plans due to a shortage of geese in the county, reports local radio P4 Malmöhus.

Many goose breeders have already sold out of geese, and production levels are lower than in previous years.

“When I started 31 years ago, around 100,000 geese were produced in Scania or southern Sweden,” Tore Svensson from Klasaröds Farm told the radio station. “Now it’s down at, maybe, 15,000,” he continued.

The celebration of Mårtensafton is in honour of Saint Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier born around the year 316 who deserted the Roman army due to his Christian faith and established the first monastery in Gaul. He was later canonised as a Christian saint.

St Martin is said to have resisted his election as bishop by hiding in a goose pen. The honk of the birds eventually revealed his location and forced him to take the bishop’s office. Logically, he asked the townspeople to slaughter a goose once a year and eat it as a form of revenge. As you do.

Swedish vocabulary: goose – gås

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