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

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 Monday
Sweden's Armed Forces have stepped up their presence on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

Weather warnings issued as storm batters southern Sweden

Tens of thousands of households in western, southern and central Sweden were plunged into darkness in the early hours of Monday as a January storm caused power blackouts, closed bridges and cancelled trains and ferries.

National weather agency SMHI issued a warning of slippery roads in southern Sweden on Monday morning, and police urged people to be careful and stay at home if possible.

The windy weather is expected to subside later in the day.

Swedish vocabulary: windy weather – blåsigt väder

Swedish police investigate drone sightings

Police are investigating a series of observations of drones on various spots in Sweden, including at nuclear power station Forsmark and Oskarshamn. Swedish media reported that a drone had also been spotted at Ringhals, but police could not confirm that.

The Expressen tabloid also reported that a drone had been spotted in central Stockholm, flying over the Royal Palace, on Saturday. It is forbidden to fly over certain state buildings, such as the Royal Palace, but a police spokesperson told the TT newswire that similar incidents are regularly reported – with tourists usually being the culprits.

The drone sightings came amid heightened tension in the Baltic, so they sparked headlines in Sweden over the weekend. Details were however scarce on Monday and police could not confirm potential links between any of the reported incidents.

Swedish vocabulary: a nuclear power station – ett kärnkraftverk

Sweden rolls out tanks on Baltic island over Russia tensions

Sweden deployed armoured combat vehicles and armed soldiers to patrol streets on the island of Gotland over the weekend, located strategically in the Baltic Sea. The move came after three Russian landing ships sailed into the Baltic Sea through the Great Belt Strait in Denmark last week, and amid increased tensions between Russia and Nato.

But Swedish Armed Forces chief of operations, Michael Claesson, told AFP the units deployed to Visby were from the garrison already stationed on the island, denying it was a “show a force.” He told AFP: “This doesn’t have to been seen as particularly dramatic, but this is a natural way of adapting the military presence.”

Claesson told Swedish public radio broadcaster SR on Monday that the Russian ships were leaving the Baltic Sea again. He said that the fact that Russia, as one of the nation bordering the Baltic Sea, travelled through the region was not unusual in and of itself.

Swedish vocabulary: a soldier – en soldat

Would you like to see your cat on a Swedish stamp?

Do you have the prettiest, ugliest, happiest, most mischievous, or something else, cat of Sweden? Swedish postal service Postnord is now asking cat owners to submit their favourite pictures of their pets – and five feline winners will get their face on a stamp.

Cat snaps can be submitted between January 24th and February 13th, alongside a description of why your cat should be picked, and a jury will select the top cats.

Swedish vocabulary: a cat – en katt

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

Magdalena Andersson in the US, property prices drop and Turkey's Nato objections. Here's Sweden's news on Thursday.

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

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to visit US President Biden

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is in Washington today alongside Finland’s president Sauli Niinistö. The two will visit US President Joe Biden to discuss the war in Ukraine and Turkey’s opposition to their Nato applications, which were handed in yesterday.

“The meeting is an important security policy signal,” Andersson wrote on her Instagram account from Washington DC.

The two Nordic leaders boarded the flight to Washington DC shortly after their Nato ambassadors applied to join the alliance.

At the meeting in the White House today, the delicate security situation in both Finland and Sweden will be discussed. A number of countries, including the USA, have stated that they will support Sweden and Finland in the period before their Nato applications are approved by all member states in the alliance.

A final approval could take up to a year, and Russia is expected to react to the two countries joining Nato in some way.

Sweden and Finland’s decision to join the Nato alliance was applauded by Ukrainians taking part in a demonstration outside the White House.

Swedish vocabulary: stöd – support

Property prices plummet after central bank increases inflation rate

Property prices have dropped after the Swedish central bank increased inflation rates.

At the same time, the amount of apartments on property website Hemnet has increased to a record level, as sellers seek to get their property on the market quickly.

Valueguard’s price index, which measures changes in prices, sank by 1.7 percent in the two first weeks of May in the Stockholm region. In Gothenburg, prices decreased by 1.3 when compared with April.

This is the first property price measurement in May since the central bank decided to increase key index rates by 0.25 percent while also sharply raising their interest rate forecast.

Having said that, there was also a decrease in property prices in April – 0.3 percent for apartments and 0.5 percent for houses.

Swedish vocabulary: en nedgång – a decrease

Turkish president Erdogan urges Nato to ‘respect’ concerns over Sweden joining

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has threatened to block Finland and Sweden from joining Nato, urged the alliance’s members on Wednesday to “respect” Ankara’s concerns about the two countries, which Turkey accuses of harbouring terrorists.

“Our only expectation from Nato allies is… to first understand our sensitivity, respect and finally support it,” Erdogan told his party’s legislators in parliament.

Finland and Sweden submitted a joint application to join Nato on Wednesday May 18th as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forces a dramatic reappraisal of security in Europe.

Erdogan accused Stockholm of providing safe haven to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) designated as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

“We asked them to extradite 30 terrorists but they refused to do so,” he said.

“You will not send back the terrorists to us and then ask our support for your Nato membership … We cannot say ‘yes’ to make this security organisation being lacking in security,” he added.

Swedish vocab: terrorister – terrorists