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

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 Tuesday
File photo of an IES school, not specifically the school linked to the story mentioned in the article. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Sweden perceived as one of world’s least corrupt nations

Sweden is seen as one of the least corrupt countries in the world – sharing second place with Norway and Singapore, and behind Denmark, Finland and New Zealand in the top spot in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index for 2021.

But the organisation warns of an increased risk of corruption in Sweden’s public and private sectors. In an interview with the DN newspaper, the head of Transparency International Sweden’s board highlights accusations that the government has been withholding certain documents from the Coronavirus Commission’s ongoing probe into how Sweden handled the pandemic.

Swedish vocabulary: transparency – usually insyn or transparens when it refers to doing things in the open without secrets. When transparency describes, say, it being possible to see through a window, the correct Swedish word is genomskinlighet.

Could Sweden ban e-scooters from parking on pavements?

The Swedish government wants to ban the parking of electric scooters on pavements and bicycle lanes unless there are designated parking spots, reports Swedish public radio broadcaster SR’s news programme Ekot on Tuesday morning.

If approved, the bill is set to come into force on August 1st.

Swedish vocabulary: an electric scooter – en elsparkcykel

Swedish newspaper’s follow-up story on foreign teachers at IES

Swedish newspaper Expressen has published a new article about free-school chain IES (Internationella Engelska Skolan – International English School), citing The Local’s recent investigative article with interviews with several foreign teachers.

“IES has received harsh criticism from students and parents for the strict dress code in its primary schools,” writes Expressen, which also interviews IES representatives and teachers in its own article.

“The dress code has however been seen as attractive for some and IES attracts parents and children with pledges of order, good results and teachers with English as their first language. However, many of the immigrant teachers speak of low salaries and broken promises, which Richard Orange at The Local was first to report,” it writes.

Swedish vocabulary: an attractive unique selling point – ett dragplåster

Thousands of people queueing for surgery in Sweden

Swedish hospitals usually carry out around 560,000 operations in a normal year. That figure had already dropped by 133,000 before the coronavirus pandemic hit, and then kept falling – ending up at 169,000 fewer operations in 2021, reports the TT newswire.

Although it varies between regions, the main problem now is not a limited number of ICU beds, but rather staff shortages because a lot of staff are at home with Covid, quarantining because a family member is ill, or looking after a sick child.

Swedish vocabulary: a hospital – ett sjukhus

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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