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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

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 Thursday
The District Court in Malmö. The 18-year-old who killed two teachers at a Malmö school on Monday was placed in pre-trial detention on Wednesday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden to contribute to new €500m in extra aid and send weapons to Ukraine 

Sweden plans to take part in a European Union plan to channel €500m worth of extra support to Ukraine through the EU’s European Peace Facility

“Among other things, Sweden has already offered 5,000 anti-tank weapons and we are going to do more to stand up against Russia’s unjust war,” Sweden’s prime minister Magdalena Andersson said at a press conference ahead of a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday.  

The focus of the meeting, which will be attended by US President Joe Biden, will be the war in Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis. 

At a later press conference, Sweden’s defence minister Peter Hultqvist said that Sweden would also send a further 5,000 anti-tank weapons and mine-clearing equipment to Ukraine. 

“Their struggle is important for the whole of Europe,” he said. 

Swedish vocab: en kamp – a struggle 

Pupil placed in custody for Malmö school attack 

A court in Malmö on Wednesday ruled that the 18-year-old who attacked and killed two teachers at an upper secondary school in Malmö on Monday should be placed in pre-trial detention. 

The 18-year-old has admitted to killing the two teachers. He is being held on suspicion of murder.  

The prosecutor Johanna Liljeblad argued in court that there was a risk that the young man would destroy evidence if he was not held in custody, and might also carry out further attacks. 

The young man’s lawyer, Anders Elison, described the man’s motive as “a little hard to grasp” in an interview on Wednesday

Swedish vocab: häktad – placed in pre-trial custory 

Ukrainian refugee children to be offered school places in Sweden

Sweden’s authorities have said they aim to take rapid action to ensure that children arriving in Sweden from war-torn Ukraine rapidly get places in schools. 

“Children who come to Sweden should get to school rapidly,” Anders Ygeman, the country’s immigration minister, said at a press conference on Wednesday. 

According to Mikael Ribbenvik, the director of the Migration Agency, about 20,000 refugees from Ukraine had so far applied for asylum in Sweden, many of them children. 

“In Sweden, we have nearly 90 percent women and children, which is a big difference from the last time,” he said. 

Although they will be offered school places, this will not be mandatory, as it is for Swedish children, Ygeman said. 

“There is no duty to go to school, but there is a right,” said Sweden’s school minister Lina Axelsson Kihlblom.

The Swedish National Agency for Education is looking to attract Russian and Ukrainian speakers to work in schools. 

Swedish vocab: en plikt – a duty 

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

Nato, Nato, and more Nato: Find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden’s defence minister: Nato decision to be taken today

Sweden’s government will meet later on Monday to take the historical decision to join Nato, the country’s defence minister Peter Hultqvist, has told state broadcaster SVT. 

“I can’t say exactly when the application will be sent in, but the decision is going to be taken today,” he said. 

Turkey have voiced their opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance.

Hultqvist said that Sweden was sending a group of civil servants to discuss Turkey’s objections to Swedish Nato membership — something Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday would not prevent Sweden joining the alliance. 

“We are going to a send a group of civil servants who are going to carry out a discussion and have a dialogue with Turkey, so then we’ll see how the issue can be solved and what the discussion is actually about. But the signals we’ve had from Nato are that there’s unanimity that both Sweden and Finland should join.” 

Swedish Vocab: avgör – to decide 

Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party backs Nato bid

Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party on Sunday said it was in favour of joining Nato, reversing its decades-long opposition and paving the way for the country to submit a membership application.

The turnaround comes amid soaring political and public support in Sweden for joining the Western military alliance after Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine.

The issue has divided Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats, with some party members expressing concern that the decision was being rushed through.

The party said on Sunday that if Sweden’s application were approved, it would work to express “unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.”

Swedish vocab: att vara orolig – to be worried/concerned

Finland confirms it will apply to join Nato as Sweden set to follow

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed on Sunday that his country would apply for Nato membership as Sweden’s ruling party was to hold a decisive meeting that could pave the way for a joint application.

The announcement came after Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday they both favoured Nato membership, in a major policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, we, the president and the government’s foreign policy committee, have together decided that Finland … will apply for Nato membership,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Helsinki on Sunday.

“I have great feelings, of course, this is an historic day. It started in the morning when I visited the memorial service to honour Finland’s fallen heroes”, Niinistö told reporters.

Niinistö said that the decision will secure Finland’s security policy and that it “does not disadvantage anyone”.

Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde said the decision would have “great significance” for Sweden.

Swedish vocab: betydelse – significance 

US in support of Sweden and Finland joining Nato

The State Department’s top diplomat for Europe, Karen Donfried, and President Joe Biden have reiterated US support for Sweden and Finland joining Nato, ahead of a meeting between Alliance foreign ministers in Berlin on Saturday.

In a phone call on Friday morning with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, US President Joe Biden reiterated support for Nato’s open-door policy, the White House said. He had also stressed that Sweden and Finland had the right to decide their own future.

Donfried said on Friday: “The United States would support Finland or Sweden joining Nato should they choose to do so.” A formal membership application by the two countries would be “further evidence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic miscalculation,” she said.

Finland and Sweden are “valued Nato partners” and “thriving democracies,” Donfried said. Referring to remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the top diplomat said Turkey’s position must now be clarified. 

Swedish vocab: att stödja – to support