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
American missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman in harbour in Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Sweden to give out 14 billion kronor in fuel and power subsidies

Sweden announced plans on Monday for a 14 billion kronor (€1.32 billion) subsidy package to help Swedes cope with soaring prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the heels of winter’s sky-high energy prices.

The proposed subsidies include a temporary reduction of petrol and diesel taxes, a one-time minimum payout of 1,000 kronor ($104, 95 euros) to car owners, a one-month extension through March of a winter electricity subsidy for homeowners in central and southern Sweden, and a temporary increase in housing subsidies for the poorest families.

Sweden has among the highest prices in the world for fuel due largely to its high taxes, at around 21 kronor ($2.20, 1.99 euros) per litre for petrol and 25 kronor for diesel.

If approved by parliament, the measures would come into effect on June 1st.

Swedish vocabulary: stödpaket – subsidy package

US missile destroyer docks in Stockholm

The USS Forrest Sherman, a US Naby missile destroyer, arrived in Stockholm last night. According to the Swedish Armed Forces, the ship had been taking part in training exercises in the Baltic Sea over the weekend.

“She has been taking part in training exercises with one of our ships this weekend, a minesweeper, out in the Baltic Sea,” Jimmie Adamsson, head of communications at the third naval warfare flotilla, told the TT newswire.

Adamsson did not comment on the specific reason for the training exercise, or the reason why the ship was now docked in Stockholm’s harbour.

“It’s not unusual for this kind of visit to occur. They’re coming in to bunker now,” Jonas Olsson, press secretary for the Swedish Armed Forces, told TT. “They’ve been at sea a long time, now they’re coming in to rest the crew and fill up on supplies for the ship.” 

He said that the ship had permission to be in Swedish territorial waters until Thursday. 

Swedish vocabulary: missiljagare – missile destroyer

Rising feed costs will force up supermarket prices: Swedish farmers

Swedish farmers are struggling to make ends meet after seeing the price of animal feed increase “three times in a single week”. 

“Feed prices have gone up massively due to prices on the grain market,” Johan Söderbom, a dairy farmer, told Swedish state broadcaster SVT.

The rising feed prices are coming on top of both the lingering supply chain shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and increased fuel and electricity prices.

According to Söderbom, Ukraine and Russia together produce around 30 percent of global wheat production. The ongoing war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions imposed on Russia now threaten to cause major disruptions to feed supplies, which are already affecting farmers, and will ultimately have consequences for consumers in Sweden as well.

“Prices will have to go up if we’re going to survive,” Söderblom said.

Swedish vocabulary: foderpriserna – prices of animal feed

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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