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

people queueing for the opera
Sweden's Christmas present of the year has been announced - and it's an easy one to wrap. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Suspect arrested on suspicion for ‘aggravated espionage’

Swedish authorities arrested a suspect yesterday for “aggravated espionage” in a case that has already led to the detention of a former intelligence official.

Sweden’s security service Säkerhetspolisen – also known as Säpo – said in a statement that the arrest was made in “central Sweden,” declining to give details on the suspect’s age or gender.

The statement did say that the person was held in connection with an “earlier case” that led to an initial arrest on September 20th. The man involved in the earlier case, in his 40s, was a high-ranking civil servant and former intelligence official, Swedish media reports.

Neither Säpo nor public prosecutor Mats Ljungkvist were able to go into more detail on the new arrest.

“One person has been arrested and is being held on suspicion of aggravated espionage,” said Ljungkvist to TT newswire.

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The public prosecutor has until midday on November 19th to decide whether the suspect should remain in custody or be released.

See The Local’s article on the arrest here for more details.

Fire stops train services between Stockholm and Västerås

A fire in a building containing gas cylinders in Grillby, northwest of Stockholm, has led to a stop in train services between Stockholm and Västerås. 

Just before midnight on Tuesday night, reports were received of a fire in the building. The building is close to train tracks and trains were stopped due to the explosion risk.

By 6am, the fire was entirely extinguished, but there is still a risk of explosion due to the residual heat in the building. As of 8am on Wednesday, fire services were still working to cool down the building.

SJ, the Swedish state-owned train operator, had no prognosis as of 8:30 this morning, and advise morning commuters to avoid travelling, if possible, or to choose another route.

“We’re preparing diversions and there will be buses running to and from Enköping and Bålsta,” said Dan Olofsson from SJ’s press service to TT newswire.

However, there are so many morning commuters to Stockholm from Västerås and Enköping that it will not be possible to provide transport for all passengers via bus, Olofsson said.

“Unfortunately, there will be long travel times and delays. I would recommend – if you can – not travelling today, or trying to travel to Stockholm by another route, via Eskilstuna or Sala,” Olofsson continued.

Christmas gift of the year 2021 announced

Retail organisation HUI Research every year picks what they think will be Sweden’s most popular Christmas gift of the year (årets julklapp), which inevitably often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One of the criteria for the Christmas gift of the year is that it must represent the times in which we live. This year marks the 34th year that HUI Research has published its prediction for the gift most likely to be sitting under the tree at Christmas.

This year, the Christmas gift of the year is tickets to an event, explains HUI Research’s CEO, Emma Hernell, to TT newswire.

“It’s become so obvious during this period that something we’ve really missed during the pandemic has been being able to experience things together with other people. That’s why we want to highlight event tickets: be that culture, concerts, theatre or sporting events.”

The tradition began in 1988 when a baking machine was nominated. Last year’s winner was an outdoor camping stove, and previous winners have included an electronic pet (1997), a woolly hat (2003), and a much-ridiculed mobillåda in 2019 – a box for storing your mobile phone during social events to discourage mindless scrolling and encourage social interaction.


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  1. Awesome idea for årets julklapp!! Now that the pandemic is over it is really the best idea to encourage as many people as possible to go on as many events as possible. What could possibly go wrong? Just don’t get tested please to keep our numbers low.

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