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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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.

Customers in Moscow queuing up to buy goods at Ikea before it closed down earlier this month.
Customers in Moscow queuing up to buy goods at Ikea before it closed down earlier this month. Photo: Vladimir Kondrashov AP/TT

ID checks introduced on ferries

Obligatory ID checks will be introduced on passengers arriving in Sweden by ferry, in a new decision from the Swedish government.

Ferry companies are already required to collect information on passengers on journeys over 20 nautical miles (37 kilometres), but ID controls are only required if there are suspicions that a passenger has given false information.

Now, this requirement is being changed, so that all passengers’ ID must be checked.

The reason behind the passenger list requirement is to ensure that, in the event of an accident at sea, crew and rescue services know how many passengers are on board and who they are. The government argues that, in light of this, the new requirements to register correct information on passengers are even more necessary when there are many people using ferry services to flee war in Ukraine.

Sweden has a number of direct ferry links with Poland, who share a border with Ukraine.

The new requirements will be introduced on March 28th 2022, and will end on September 1st 2022.

Swedish vocabularylegitimation, id-handlingar – ID, identity documents

Russia create copy of Swedish IKEA
 
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many western companies have pulled out of Russia, including the Swedish furniture giants IKEA.
 
Russian politicians have threatened to take any companies that leave into state ownership. In recent days, a new phenomenon has started to appear, in the form of exact copies of western companies and brands which were formerly doing business in Russia. Now, this appears to have hit IKEA, Göteborgs-Posten newspaper reports.
 
According to documents from the Russian patent office, an application has been submitted to start a company listed as “Idea – furniture factory”, complete with a similar logo.
 
“Inter Ikea Systems B.V., as owners of the immaterial rights of the IKEA concept, including IKEA as a brand, are aware of this and are currently investigating the situation and possible measures”, IKEA’s holding group Ingka Group wrote in a comment to the newspaper.

Swedish vocabulary: snarlik – almost identical

Swedish shoe company Kavat paying low wages

Shoe company Kavat, who make popular shoes for children, moved their factory to Bosnia from Sweden nine years ago, and were given 700,000 kronor from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) after promising to introduce a Swedish work ethic and Swedish work environment.

Now, public broadcaster SVT’s investigative reporting programme Uppdrag Granskning has revealed that the basic salary for workers in the Bosnian factory is 2,500 kronor before tax per month, employees do not have union rights and there is a fear among employees of reprisals if they speak up about their conditions.

Employees are not able to live off this amount – according to the Bosnian union movement for those working with textiles, leather and rubber, a family with two adults and two children need to earn at least 12,000 kronor per month.

“The workers here don’t have any rights at all,” a man using the false name “Vanja” who previously worked at the factory told SVT.

“We try to do our best to be good employers,” Kavat’s CEO, Magnus Ericson, told the programme.

Kavat said in a message to SVT that they take Uppdrag Granskning’s information seriously, and will work to improve the work enviroment and ensure that workers are able to live off their salaries.

Swedish vocabulary: arbetsmiljö – work environment

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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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