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

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 Tuesday
A 'hoarse Fredrik loudspeaker on a rooftop in Södermalm, Stockholm. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Likelihood for an attack on Sweden ‘relatively low’

Russia’s military forces are limited and at the moment, the majority of their army are in Ukraine. Military experts believe that an attack on other countries is unlikely at this stage.

“The risk for us is relatively low at the moment,” lieutenant colonel Joakim Paasikivi told TT.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces warned of an increased threat to Sweden and encouraged people living in Sweden to prepare themselves for the fact that the world has changed. Many Swedish residents have begun prepping and public interest in shelters has increased.

However, there is currently no imminent risk to Sweden. The government have not issued a state of heightened preparedness, which they would do if there was a danger of war breaking out.

“Large parts of the Russian army are focused on Ukraine now,” said Magnus Christiansson, university lecturer in military science at the Swedish Defence University.

According to Christiansson, around 100 to 115 battalions are currently in Ukraine, which encompasses around 75 percent of the active serving Russian army.

Swedish vocabulary: höjd beredskap – heightened preparedness

Despite uncertainty, property prices reach a new high

In the shadow of war in Ukraine and economic uncertainty, property prices continued to increase in February. However, experts believe that we will see a dip in this upwards curve soon due to war uncertainty and rising energy prices.

The increase is across the board, with prices increasing in all of Sweden’s three major cities (Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg) for both houses and apartments. In central Stockholm, prices have increased by two percent, a new record.

“Despite the serious situation in the world, negative stock market developments and increased uncertainty in interest rates, the property market is going against the current. A good job market, continued low interest rates and a large underlying need to relocate is contributing towards stability,” Björn Wellhagen, CEO of the Association of Swedish Real Estate Agents, said in a press statement.

Claudia Wörmann, property economist at SBAB Bank, said she would be surprised if there wasn’t a dip in the upwards curve next time statistics are presented in March: “Ther’s a month’s delay. You buy a property because something happens in the family, like you have a new addition or you get divorced. That is still happening. But the discussions about high interest rates and increases in energy prices will have an effect.”

Swedish vocabulary: en uppgång – an increase

Many municipalities without ‘hoarse Fredrik’

The warning system often referred to as “hoarse Fredrik”, tested on the first Monday in March, June, September and December at 3pm sharp, does not cover the whole country.

Across Sweden, 577 warning alarms are deactivated, and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is now asking the government for funds to reinstate the alarms – a process which is expected to take up to three years, Aftonbladet reports.

“Of course it’s a problem, because of the logistics required, and we don’t have an unlimited amount of technicians who can fix them into place,” Anders Johannesson, head of department at MSB told the newspaper.

According to SVT News, 50 municipalites across the country do not have a “hoarse Fredrik” warning system.

“The reason why multiple municipalities don’t have a warning system is because there is no potential threat of an air attack there,” Håkan Marcusson, system architect at MSB told SVT.

MSB have a map on their website showing the location of every warning system in Sweden.

Swedish vocabulary: hesa Fredrik – hoarse Fredrik

Member comments

  1. Russia has a standing power of above 1 Million and not 150.000 as indicated in this article. And that does not include Putins National Garde which has another 450.000. Russia invades Ukraine with what is possible without leaving the east and middle unguarded and recruiting the reserve. You should be able to do this much research yourself.

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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