For members


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

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 Thursday
A man holding a beer. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Underage teenagers buying alcohol from dealers on social media

According to a new study by the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), more than one in ten 16-17 year olds in Sweden have bought alcohol via social media, with the practice most common in Sweden’s larger cities.

“They choose a place to meet or get it delivered to their homes,” Jonas Packalén, police inspector in Södertälje told newswire TT.

Those who turn to social media dealers to buy alcohol are usually under 18. They are unable to buy alcohol legally, as bars and restaurants will not serve those under the age of 18, and state alcohol monopoly Systembolaget will not sell to under 20s.

“If you buy alcohol in this way there are no small quantities – you’ll be leaving with a crate of beer (around 24 cans) or a litre of spirits,” Anna Raninen, alcohol researcher for Systembolaget, told TT.

According to the survey, 28 percent of young people have been offered the opportunity to buy alcohol on social media. 12 percent of 16-17 year olds have bought alcohol via dealer accounts on Instagram or Snapchat, either alone or with others. Almost half (47 percent) of 16-17 year olds stated that it was easy to get hold of alcohol.

Swedish vocabulary: langare – dealer

Government expected to propose shorter queues for free schools

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Schools Minister Lina Axelsson Kihlblom held a press conference this morning discussing changes to funding and queuing systems for free schools.

The reasoning behind the proposal to change school queue systems is an investigation from 2020 which recommended removing the queue system entirely and replacing it with a lottery or a quota system for attractive schools, as well as a common application system for all schools, TT reports.

Those in favour of the proposal argue that putting a child in a school queue years before they are due to start – maybe even at birth – disadvantages families who move as well as those who are born later on in the year.

In addition to this, a change to school funding is was proposed, with more money going to state-run schools. This is motivated by the argument that state-run schools need more funding to reflect that they have more responsibilities than free schools – such as the need to be able to guarantee that there will always be enough places for those wishing to attend their schools.

Swedish vocabulary: köa – to queue

Property prices continue to rise

Despite an interest rate freeze and stock market dips, prices for bostadsrätter – usually apartments or terraced houses – continued to rise in January, SVT reports.

The increase was greatest in central Stockholm, where an apartment now costs almost 114,000 kronor per square metre, according to Svensk Mäklarstatistik, who collect statistics from estate agents across Sweden.

“It’s almost impossible for a young person to buy a studio apartment in Stockholm,” Hans Flink from Svensk Mäklarstatstik told SVT Aktuell.

Since the start of the pandemic, house prices in Sweden have increased by 28 percent, said Svensk Mäklarstatistik. Prices for bostadsrätter have increased by 14 percent, on average.

Data less than a month old shows that the trend is increasing, with prices for bostadsrätter increasing by one percent in January compared with the month before.

A long-term look at price developments on a yearly scale shows that house prices increased by 12-13 percent and bostadsrätter by 6-7 percent each month during the last year.

Swedish vocabulary: bostadspriser – property prices

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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

Nato, Nato, and more Nato: Find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden’s defence minister: Nato decision to be taken today

Sweden’s government will meet later on Monday to take the historical decision to join Nato, the country’s defence minister Peter Hultqvist, has told state broadcaster SVT. 

“I can’t say exactly when the application will be sent in, but the decision is going to be taken today,” he said. 

Turkey have voiced their opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance.

Hultqvist said that Sweden was sending a group of civil servants to discuss Turkey’s objections to Swedish Nato membership — something Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday would not prevent Sweden joining the alliance. 

“We are going to a send a group of civil servants who are going to carry out a discussion and have a dialogue with Turkey, so then we’ll see how the issue can be solved and what the discussion is actually about. But the signals we’ve had from Nato are that there’s unanimity that both Sweden and Finland should join.” 

Swedish Vocab: avgör – to decide 

Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party backs Nato bid

Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party on Sunday said it was in favour of joining Nato, reversing its decades-long opposition and paving the way for the country to submit a membership application.

The turnaround comes amid soaring political and public support in Sweden for joining the Western military alliance after Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine.

The issue has divided Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats, with some party members expressing concern that the decision was being rushed through.

The party said on Sunday that if Sweden’s application were approved, it would work to express “unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.”

Swedish vocab: att vara orolig – to be worried/concerned

Finland confirms it will apply to join Nato as Sweden set to follow

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed on Sunday that his country would apply for Nato membership as Sweden’s ruling party was to hold a decisive meeting that could pave the way for a joint application.

The announcement came after Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday they both favoured Nato membership, in a major policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, we, the president and the government’s foreign policy committee, have together decided that Finland … will apply for Nato membership,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Helsinki on Sunday.

“I have great feelings, of course, this is an historic day. It started in the morning when I visited the memorial service to honour Finland’s fallen heroes”, Niinistö told reporters.

Niinistö said that the decision will secure Finland’s security policy and that it “does not disadvantage anyone”.

Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde said the decision would have “great significance” for Sweden.

Swedish vocab: betydelse – significance 

US in support of Sweden and Finland joining Nato

The State Department’s top diplomat for Europe, Karen Donfried, and President Joe Biden have reiterated US support for Sweden and Finland joining Nato, ahead of a meeting between Alliance foreign ministers in Berlin on Saturday.

In a phone call on Friday morning with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, US President Joe Biden reiterated support for Nato’s open-door policy, the White House said. He had also stressed that Sweden and Finland had the right to decide their own future.

Donfried said on Friday: “The United States would support Finland or Sweden joining Nato should they choose to do so.” A formal membership application by the two countries would be “further evidence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic miscalculation,” she said.

Finland and Sweden are “valued Nato partners” and “thriving democracies,” Donfried said. Referring to remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the top diplomat said Turkey’s position must now be clarified. 

Swedish vocab: att stödja – to support