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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

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 Monday
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel at a Nobel prize ceremony in 2021. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel deny divorce rumours

Crown Princess Victoria, who is next in line to the throne, denied rumours that the couple were planning to divorce alongside her husband in a post released on the Swedish royal family’s Instagram and Facebook accounts on Saturday.

“It has come to our attention that an extensive negative rumour campaign is ongoing regarding our private relationship. Statements are being spread regarding betrayal in the relationship and an imminent divorce,” the couple said.

“In normal circumstances we do not comment on rumour and speculation, but in order to protect our family we wish to clarify, once and for all, that the rumours currently being spread are completely unfounded,” they continued.

The denial follows articles by Swedish celebrity news site Stoppa Pressarna, reporting that the couple were in crisis and on the brink of divorce.

The couple have been married since 2010 and have two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.
 
Swedish vocabulary: skilsmässa – divorce
 
Risk for snow chaos in central Sweden
 
More than 30 centimetres of snow could fall in central Sweden today, newswire TT reports. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) warn of slippery roads due to snow, as well as low visibility which may affect morning traffic.
 
SMHI have issued an orange warning over Örebro, Västerås, Uppsala and Stockholm due to heavy snowfall and strong winds, and commuters are encouraged to be careful on the roads this morning.
 
“The temperature is around zero, so there will be a lot of slushy snow and ice. At times, there will be heavy snowfall, so there will be low visibility as well, so you should make sure to be out in good time if you need to travel this morning,” Emma Härenstam at SMHI told TT newswire.
 
“In Svealand (central Sweden) and Gävleborg county, there will be slippery roads due to snow,” Härenstam told TT.
 
“Conditions may be especially difficult in the southern parts of Stockholm county and coastal areas of Södermanland due to icy roads, so it’s a good idea to be careful,” she told the newswire.
 
An orange warning is the second-most serious on a three step scale, and means that there is a large risk that roads will be affected, as well as delays to bus, train and air transport.
 
Swedish vocabulary: halka – weather conditions when ice or snow means there is a risk of skidding
 
Swedish Trade Union Confederation membership increasing among immigrants
 
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), an umbrella organisation for 14 trade unions within the private and public sectors, is reporting an increase in new members after over a decade of declining membership. They have approximately 1.4 million members across Sweden.
 
“(Membership) increased in 2020, that was the first time for many years. And in 2021, the proportion of workers who are members of a trade union increased further,” Anders Kjellberg, sociology professor at Lund University told newswire TT.
 
Although the number of members decreased in 2021, the proportion of workers who are members of a trade union increased, according to a report released by Arena Idé. This, Kjellberg told TT, may be explained by the fact that many temporary jobs disappeared – temporary employees are rarely members of a trade union.
 
The most important explanation behind the increase is that more immigrants are applying for membership, although rates are still lower than for those born in Sweden. Kjellberg explained to TT that this can be due to the fact that immigrants have different experiences – some have come from countries outside of Europe where trade unions are rare and may be sceptical to joining.
 
Another aspect, Kjellberg told TT, is that immigrants are less connected to the labour market, meaning that they – like Swedes in the same situation – are less likely to join a trade union.
 
“They are also overrepresented in branches where there is already a low rate of trade union membership,” Kjellberg told TT, using the restaurant industry as an example.
 
Swedish vocabulary: fack – trade union

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

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