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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

lorries queuing in the dark on a snowy motorway
Long queues and snowdrifts plagued the southbound E6 motorway near Halland early on Tuesday morning. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Snow chaos in southern Sweden

Snow was causing issues in many areas of southern Sweden on Wednesday, with problems in some places continuing through to Thursday morning.

Traffic on the southbound E6 motorway south of Gothenburg was still at a standstill early on Thursday morning. Rescue services were assisting those affected, with some drivers forced to leave their cars behind on the road, SVT reports.

Bus services in the Halland region are also affected, with city buses in Falkenberg, Halmstad, Laholm and Varberg cancelled until 8am on Thursday, and buses in Kungsbacka, south of Gothenburg, cancelled until 10am.

School bus services in Falkenberg municipality and northern Halmstad municipality have also been cancelled. There is currently no information on when they will be up and running again, SVT reports.

Swedish vocabulary: snöoväder – bad snowy weather – literally snö (snow) and oväder (bad weather)

Government wants to tighten up labour migration

Prime minister Magdalena Andersson announced plans to tighten up labour migration in a speech at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation’s congress on Wednesday, TT reports.

“We need to put an end to employers who tempt foreign employees here only to make them work under slave-like conditions,” Andersson said, “It’s shameful, and it obviously shouldn’t be legal”.

Andersson wants to introduce a requirement for employees to have a binding job contract before work permits can be issued – although it is not yet clear what the final proposal will include.

She is aiming for the law to change before the end of the year, and believes she can convince a majority in parliament to vote for the proposal. If not, it will become an election promise, said Andersson.

Current rules for getting a work permit in Sweden include having a valid passport, a salary offer which is “at least the same level as a Swedish collective agreement or what is usual in the profession or branch” and a salary which enables the employee to support themselves – currently classed as at least 13,000 kronor a month, before tax.

In addition, employers must show that they will take out health insurance, life insurance, work injury insurance and pension insurance on behalf of the employee.

Swedish vocabulary: slavliknande villkor – slave-like conditions

House prices dropping in northern Sweden

The latest price index from SBAB Bank and Booli, a property website, show that house prices in Norrland decreased more than other areas of the country in November.

Apartment prices dropped 1.4 percent in northern Sweden, whereas prices in southern Sweden increased by 1.5 percent. The areas surrounding Stockholm and Gothenburg also showed a decrease, with 0.6 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Head economist at SBAB Robert Boije does not think this is anything to worry about: “Even though we’re seeing relatively large price decreases for both apartments and houses in northern Sweden, I would say that we – taking into consideration that the end of autumn and start of winter is usually a quieter period on the property market – still have stable development on the Swedish property market as a whole,” he said in a press statement.House prices also saw a clear decrease in northern Sweden, dropping by 3.2 percent. In Stockholm and Gothenburg, however, prices increased by 0.4 and 0.9 percent respectively.

Swedish vocabulary: bostadsmarknad – property market

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