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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.

Spotify was offline for 90 minutes on Tuesday night.
Spotify was offline for 90 minutes on Tuesday night. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB/TT

Swedish Nato application would ‘destabilise’ Northern Europe: PM

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Tuesday ruled out applying for Nato membership in the short term, warning that doing so would “destabilise this part of Europe even further”. 

Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with the leaders of Sweden’s other parliamentary parties,  Andersson dismissed their calls to start holding talks with them over a potential application. 

Instead, she said, Sweden was counting on the European Union’s mutual defence clause in the event of a military attack. 

Ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Versailles on Thursday and Friday, the two countries had written a joint letter to “remind the other member states about the EU’s declaration of solidarity in the Lisbon Treaty”, she told reporters.

The clause in Article 42 of the 2009 Treaty requires “other EU countries to come to the support and aid, with all possible means, of a member state under armed attack”, she said.

The exact nature of the EU’s military solidarity — which is similar to, and more recent than, Nato’s Article 5 — remains vague. Whether it is mandatory is a subject of debate.

Ahead of the talks, Ulf Kristersson, leader of the right-wing Moderate Party, said that Sweden’s government should follow that of Finland and start inter-party talks over a Nato application. 

“There’s not much time,” he said.  “Sweden must be ready to take a decision at the same time [as Finland]. 

Swedish vocab: bråttom – a hurry 

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Streaming service Spotify in unexplained outage

Swedish streaming service Spotify went offline for an unknown reason for more than an hour Tuesday, the company said, as millions of users worldwide reported they were logged out and couldn’t log back on.

“Something’s not quite right, and we’re looking into it. Thanks for your reports!” the company wrote on Twitter.

After about 90 minutes the company said service had been restored. “Everything’s looking much better now”, it said, providing no explanation for the outage. Millions of users had posted on Twitter about their problems connecting to the app.

Swedish vocab: driftstörning – an outage/operational disturbance   

Swedish Prime Minister’s cleaner deported after working without permit 

A 25-year-old woman who was found to have no work permit after she was stopped by police after setting off an alarm at the private house of Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, which she had been sent to clean. 

The women had been living in Sweden illegally and had already been served with an order to leave the country even before she was arrested in December last year. 

The owner of the cleaning company is still being investigated for employing someone lacking a work or residency permit.

Swedish vocab: avvisning – deportation

Moderates call for five kronor cut to diesel tax

The Moderate Party on Tuesday proposed that the government should cut five kronor from the tax on diesel, a move that would cost the Swedish government 5.5 billion kronor (€510m). 

The party is calling for the tax on diesel to be reduced to the lowest level allowed by the European Union, and argues that the tax on petrol should be reduced by the same amount for a three-month period. 

“It’s absolutely clear that high fuel prices are hollowing out household finances,” the party’s economic spokesperson, Elisabeth Svantesson, told TT. “So this is something Sweden must help with.” 

Swedish vocab: skattesänkning – tax cut

Elderly care and schools top election issues for local politicians: survey

A survey of Sweden’s municipal politicians by Swedish state broadcaster SR has found that, for them at least, elderly care and schools are the most important election issues. 

“We need more places [in elderly care homes] so that everyone can be confident that they’ll be able to enter a home. We need to get rid of the split shifts in care work, so we treat our workers better,” said Elise Arnell, leader of the Christian Democrats in the Marks municipality.

SR received completed questionnaires from 1,759 municipal politicians, 77 percent of the total in Sweden. 

Member comments

  1. Incredibly naiive from the PM. Irresponsible actually.

    Without America, the European Defense pact is useless against Russia.

    And as Ukraine proves, America will defend NATO countries. And nothing more.

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For members


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