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

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 Friday
Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

New battery factory set to create 3,000 jobs in western Sweden

Northvolt and Volvo Cars will build their joint battery factory at Torslanda in Gothenburg, which is expected to create at least 3,000 new jobs in the city.

Construction is set to begin next year, according to a press release, and the factory will produce battery cells to be used in Volvo’s and Polestar’s next-generation electric cars. The 30-billion-kronor hub is expected to be ready to start production in 2025.

Swedish vocabulary: Gothenburg – Göteborg

Medieval ship found off the west coast of Sweden

A previously unknown shipwreck has been found at Dyngö near Fjällbacka in western Sweden. It it the oldest shipwreck ever found in the Bohuslän region – and one of the oldest cogs that has been found in Europe, according to Gothenburg University.

“The wreck is made from oaks cut between 1233 and 1240, so nearly 800 years ago,” Staffan von Arbin, a maritime archaeologist at the university, said in a statement.

Swedish vocabulary: a shipwreck – ett skeppsvrak

More Covid patients in Swedish hospitals

The number of Covid-19 inpatients is on the increase in almost all regions in Sweden, writes the TT news agency – a total of 2,000 with confirmed Covid as of February 2nd.

But thanks to the high vaccination rate among older age groups, they are not as seriously ill as during previous waves of the pandemic. In for example the Skåne region, they now spend on average 5.7 days in hospital, down from 10.1 days a year ago.

It is not entirely clear how many of the patients are in hospital because they have Covid-19, or are in hospital due to other reasons. The data are treated differently in different regions, writes TT. But on January 22nd, 46 percent of patients with confirmed Covid-19 had it as their primary diagnosis, according to the Public Health Agency.

Swedish vocabulary: a hospital – ett sjukhus

Sweden to lift nearly all Covid-19 restrictions next week

Swedish authorities announced yesterday that all restrictions will be removed on February 9th, and that those working from home should prepare to return to work.

“The pandemic is not over, but is entering a completely new phase,” said Andersson. “We are nearing the point for Sweden to open up again.”

The government said that the decision was based on a number of factors, partly that Omicron appears to be a milder variant, and partly that the percentage of the population who are fully vaccinated or have taken a booster dose continues to increase.

You can read more HERE about which measures will be removed next week, and we also asked the government in THIS article what will happen to the border restrictions.

Swedish vocabulary: a decision – ett beslut

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

SD white book, train delays, and Malmö defence meet: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

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

Scandinavian defence ministers meet in Malmö 

The defence ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Norway med in Malmö on Monday, with four fighter planes from Sweden and Norway flying overhead to commemorate the moment. 

“It’s important that we mark our interest in the entrance to the Baltic,” said Peter Hulqvist, Sweden’s defence minister of the reason for the meeting, adding that Sweden intended to strengthen defence of the seaway with submarines. “We see it as extremely important to have control over this entry point.” 

He said that the three countries were in the middle of negotiating new agreements to further strengthen defence cooperation. 

Swedish vocab: samarbete – cooperation 

Researcher who wrote Sweden Democrat’s white book was party member
Tony Gustafsson, the Uppsala University historian hired to research and write the Sweden Democrats’ vitbok, or ‘white book’, an investigation into the party’s roots in the neo-Nazi and white power movements, became a member of the party in 2017, the Expressen newspaper has revealed. 
When the document was published last month, the Sweden Democrats described Gustafsson as independent of the party. 
Gustafsson told the newspaper that he “would not comment on my political position or background at all in relation to this project”. 
“I have chosen not to let my ideological commitments, political standpoints, or actual membership, be a part of the discussion.” 
Swedish vocab: ideologiska övertygelser – ideological commitments 

Moderate Leader Ulf Kristersson has refused to commit to giving the Liberals a place in any government formed under him after September’s election, in the first pre-election interviews on Swedish state radio broadcaster SR. 
“It’s clear that they [the Liberals] want to have a shift in power, a change in government, and we are agreed with the Liberals on big, important issues,” Kristersson said. “But it’s no secret that there is a discussion afoot in the Liberals as well on exactly how and with whom they can negotiate. So I think I will leave that question open.”  

In the interview, Kristersson also conceded that the Sweden Democrats, whose support he will need if he is to form a new government, have an “unpleasant”, and “terrible” history, but he said they had “matured” as a party. 

Swedish vocab: att mogna – to mature/ripen 

Sweden sees continued train delays following weekend storms

Train travel is still disrupted in some parts of Sweden following the storms which passed over the country during the weekend.

In Töreboda, Western Götland, repair work is still ongoing after a roof blown away in the storms pulled down an overhead line, leading to delays of between 15 to 20 minutes on the Gothenburg to Stockholm line, as well as delaying local train lines in the area.
One of the three tracks on the route has been open since Sunday night.
Swedish vocab: förseningar – delays