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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
Vaccine pass protesters rallied at Sergels Torg in Stockholm on Saturday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Ten thousand to-be-deported immigrants went missing last year

A total of 10,124 people who disappeared after being handed a deportation order last year are wanted by the police, according to Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT. They are wanted so that the deportation order can be executed, not because they are suspected of other crimes.

The figure has remained fairly steady, but fallen slightly, in the past five years, from 12,235 in 2017. But it is not known whether all remain in Sweden or have left the country.

“I don’t think anyone would choose to live undocumented if they felt that there was a better alternative. The situation they came from and chose to leave is still the same and then they sometimes make a different assessment than Swedish authorities,” a Red Cross migration expert told SVT.

Swedish vocabulary: wanted – efterlyst

‘Knutby pastor’ released on parole after 18 years

A pastor who was sentenced to life in prison for manipulating his family’s former nanny into murdering his wife, in one of the most well-known court cases in Sweden, has been released on parole after converting his life punishment into a fixed-term sentence.

“After serving 18 years (…) he is now entering life as a free man,” his lawyer told the Expressen tabloid.

His wife was murdered in their home in Knutby, about 75 kilometres north-east of Stockholm, in 2004, and a neighbour was shot but survived. The pastor was found guilty of instigating the murder and murder attempt, but the nanny was convicted of carrying out the attacks. She was sentenced to psychiatric care, but was released in 2011.

Swedish vocabulary: on parole – villkorligt frigiven

When will you next get to see the Northern Lights?

The dazzling display of the Northern Lights – or the Aurora Borealis – which could be seen in nearly all of Sweden the weekend before last was not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, at least not according to experts who say there’s more to come.

There’s a good chance to see the Northern Lights again in the coming years, thanks to the solar cycle entering into an intense phase which is expected to peak in 2025, according to the Aurora Borealis experts speaking with Swedish news agency TT.

Here’s The Local’s guide to how to keep up to date with the Northern Lights.

Swedish vocabulary: Northern Lights – norrsken

More than 10,000 join Swedish vaccine pass protests

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in Sweden’s two biggest cities on Saturday against the use of vaccine passes, in marches that unfolded calmly after police had warned of possible clashes.

Around 9,000 people marched through the streets of the capital Stockholm to the Sergels Torg square chanting “No to Vaccine Passes, Yes to Freedom”, in a protest organised by a group calling itself the Freedom Movement.

Some of the demonstrators wore the markings of violent extremist groups such as the neo-Nazi group NMR, and covered their faces to prevent identification. Some also set off red flares that lit the sky a smoky red, but police said no clashes were reported. A number of vaccination centres in the city had closed early on Saturday as a precaution.

In Sweden’s second-biggest city Gothenburg, another demonstration gathered around 1,500 people.

Swedish vocabulary: a precaution – en försiktighetsåtgärd

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

Biden backs Sweden in Nato, first case of monkeypox and labour market heating up. Here's Friday's news.

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

Sweden registers first confirmed case of monkeypox

One person in Sweden has a confirmed case of monkeypox, health authorities said on Thursday following similar cases in Europe and North America.

The rare disease usually manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash on the hands and face.

“One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkey pox,” Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement.

The infected person “is not seriously ill, but has been given care,” according to the agency.

“We still don’t know where the person was infected. An investigation is currently underway,” Klara Sonden, an infectious disease doctor and investigator at the agency, said in a statement.

The health authority is now “investigating with the regional infection control centres whether there are more cases in Sweden,” it said.

On Wednesday, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States all reported having cases of confirmed or suspected monkeypox.

Authorities have generally been reassuring, with Spanish and Portuguese officials stressing that the disease is not very contagious between humans.

Swedish vocabulary: apkoppor – monkeypox

Biden gives ‘full, total, complete backing’ for Swedish Nato bid

US President Joe Biden on Thursday strongly backed Finland and Sweden’s bid to join Nato in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the Nordic nations’ leaders promised to address concerns raised by Turkey.

With the red-carpet pomp of a White House visit, Biden welcomed Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto days after they formally announced their Nato aspirations and said he was submitting their applications to the US Congress, where there is bipartisan support for ratification.

“The bottom line is simple. Quite straightforward: Finland and Sweden make Nato stronger,” Biden said, offering the “full, total, complete backing of the United States of America.”

“Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies, and a strong moral sense of what is right,” Biden said with the two leaders at his side in the White House Rose Garden.

“They meet every Nato requirement, and then some,” Biden told assembled reporters without taking any questions.

Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate who frequently fights Biden’s agenda, said he would seek quick action on the bids by Sweden and Finland. He noted that Finland already commits two percent of its GDP to defence and that Sweden “is on pace to reach that target very soon” — a threshold backed by Nato and long pushed by Washington.

“These nations are setting an example which current treaty allies would do well to follow,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “So I’ll be proud to continue amplifying their case for accession however I can.”

Swedish vocabulary: backar – to back

Labour market set to heat up over summer

According to new figures, this summer’s job market looks to be heating up.

Employers’ demand for staff has reached the highest summer levels ever, according to staffing company Manpowers’ quarterly measurements which started the measurements 19 years ago.

The employment index is standing at +25 before the third quarter and is based on 765 interviews with Swedish employers. Although lower than last quarter’s figure of +37, this is still the highest reported figure for a summer period.

The index shows the amount of employers planning to hire over the summer, minus those who are not.

“The high demand for staff is continuing despite high inflation and war close by,” Mikael Hansson, the staffing company’s Swedish boss wrote in a press statement.

The measurement was carried out between April 1st-29th, which means that factors such as the war in Ukraine and increased inflation are included in the figures, Manpower states.

All Swedish regions gave positive prognoses in all branches, but central Sweden showed a sharp decrease in the employment prognosis compared to the previous quarter. Stockholm and the Uppsala region and southern Sweden reported the strongest figures.

Swedish vocabulary: sysselsättning – employment