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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

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

Court rules on Easter rioters, a wolf shot in Skåne, Midsummer drownings, and Nato talks: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Court in Örebro to rule on four involved in Easter riots 

A court in Örebro will rule today on four men accused of throwing stones at police over the Easter weekend, and in some cases also filmed attacks on police and encouraged others to carry out attacks. 

The men are accused of the crime of blåljussabotage, literally “blue light sabotage”, which covers attacks on police officers and their cars and other equipment. 

According to the prosecution, the four men attacked and threatened police, damaged police vehicles, and injured police dogs. The attacks took place during protests against plans by the far-right activist Rasmus Paludan to burn copies of the Koran in the city. 

Swedish vocab: blåljussabotage – damaging police property and materials.

Two men drowned in lakes in Sweden over Midsummer weekend 

Police have reported two separate cases of elderly men drowning over the Midsummer weekend, one in Blekinge in southern Sweden, and the other in Vaxholm, outside Stockholm. 
In Blekinge, a  70-year-old man died after falling into the Halen lake in Olofström, on Sunday evening. He was pulled from the water before the ambulance arrived but was declared dead at 9pm. One of the man’s relatives called the emergency services. 

The man in Vaxholm, who was also described as “elderly”, died after falling overboard from a boat on Sunday afternoon. The man’s body was found by divers at 17.30pm.

Swedish vocab: en drunkningsolycka – a drowning accident 

Wolf shot in southern Sweden after attacking sheep

A wolf was shot on Sunday in Svälov, a municipality between the cities of Lund and Helsingborg in southern Sweden. The animal, one of the wolves spotted recently in the far south of Sweden, had attacked a sheep.

“The farmer fired off a warning shot to discourage further attacks, but that did not help, and so a deadly shot was then fired,” said Tom Espgård, who works on predatory animals for Skåne county. 

The wolf, a female weighing 34kg, was shot according to a paragraph in Sweden’s hunting law which allows livestock owners to shoot predators if they find them attacking their animals. 

Swedish vocab: en tamdjursägare – a livestock owner

Swedish PM: ‘I look forward to meeting Erdogan in Madrid’ 

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson responded positively to the downbeat assessment of Nato talks with Turkey given by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Saturday. 

“Good call earlier today with President Erdogan of Turkey on Sweden’s Nato application,” Andersson wrote on Twitter. “Agreed on the importance of making progress in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other Allied leaders.”

In a thread posted on Twitter, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey said that Erdogan had told Andersson that Sweden had so far taken “no tangible action” towards making “concrete changes in its attitude towards PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization”. 

The thread also said that Turkey wants several people it sees as connected to these organisations extradited from Sweden. 

Read our story on Erdogan’s comments here

Swedish vocab: utlämnade – extradited