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

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 Wednesday
In Malmö, the KB nightclub opened its doors at one minute past midnight on Wednesday – no longer restricted by the 11pm limit on opening hours. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden lifts almost all Covid restrictions

Nearly all Covid restrictions and recommendations were removed in Sweden on Wednesday – a day people have been either dreading, looking forward to, or both at the same time, at least judging from the responses The Local got to our reader survey.

Some of the key measures that have been scrapped are vaccine pass requirements at public events, limits on the number of people in shops, and early closing times in restaurants, as well as any travel restrictions for people arriving from the EU.

Sweden will also no longer offer free PCR tests to the general public.

Swedish vocabulary: closing time – stängningstid

Warning of travel chaos on Stockholm-Uppsala railway line

No regional or commuter trains were running between Stockholm City and Uppsala/Gävle/Borlänge on Monday morning, due to a signal fault caused by a fire. It is one of Sweden’s busiest routes, so commuters may want to hold off on returning to the office despite the lifted work-from-home Covid recommendations.

Replacement buses have been called in. There was no immediate forecast on Wednesday morning as to when the problem will be resolved, but a spokesperson for rail operator SJ told the TT newswire that it may take days before traffic can return to normal.

Swedish vocabulary: a commuter train – ett pendeltåg

SAS opens new route to Canada

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is set to start operating direct flights to Toronto, Canada, on June 2nd, with three departures a week from Copenhagen and four from Stockholm.

SAS currently also flies to the following cities in North America: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Swedish vocabulary: a flight – ett flyg

Volvo to invest 10 billion kronor in iconic Gothenburg factory

Volvo plans to invest 10 billion kronor in its Gothenburg plant in western Sweden as it switches production to electric cars.

The factory, which opened in 1964, is the oldest currently in use and largest of the carmaker, with nearly 6,500 employees, producing 1,250 vehicles per day.

This investment comes on the heels of another major project in Volvo’s electrification strategy, the announcement of the construction of a joint factory with Swedish battery maker Northvolt, also near Gothenburg.

Swedish vocabulary: a factory – en fabrik

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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