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

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 Monday
Magdalena Andersson and Olaf Scholz at the Social Democrat party congress in Gothenburg last year, where Andersson was elected leader of the Swedish Social Democrats. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

University of Gothenburg starting extra Ukrainian language courses

This autumn, the University of Gothenburg will begin extra courses in the Ukrainian language, including an online beginners course.

The measure is being taken to meet the need for knowledge in the Ukrainian language now that tens of thousands of Ukrainians are arriving in Sweden due to the war.

“We’re doing everything we can to meet the huge need for language competency in Ukrainian,” said Petra Platen, vice prefect for education at the Institution for Language and Literature in a press statement.

“We have never put together a course this quickly, but this is also an exceptional situation. Until now, we have been the only higher education institute in Sweden teaching Ukrainian and we have a responsbility to make sure that the competencies here benefit society.”

Swedish vocabulary: nybörjarkurs – beginners course

Teaching resumes at Malmö Latinskola

Today marks the first day with scheduled teaching at Malmö Latinskola after two teachers were murdered in a violent attack last week, newswire TT reports.

“It’s important that we come back to school again and that we can help each other together to recreate the school which was known for it’s safety, warmth and light,” Niklas Anderberg, head of education for Malmö’s gymnasium schools for 16-19 year olds, told public broadcaster P4 Malmöhus.

Support will be provided for teachers and students, TT reports.

An 18 year old student from the school is in custody after having murdered two of the schools’ teachers. Over the weekend, people have continued to visit the school to leave flowers by the school gates.

Here’s The Local’s article on what we know about the attack so far.

Swedish vocabulary: lärare – teachers

Magdalena Andersson in Berlin to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson is in Berlin today to meet with German chancellor Olaf Scholz. The pair, who are both Social Democrats, were both finance ministers in their respective countries prior to being elected last year.

They will discuss the security situation in Europe, the war in Ukraine, and possible measures which could be taken in response to Russia’s aggression, the Swedish Government Offices said in a press statement. 

They will also discuss how they can support Ukraine, bilateral issues, and other foreign policy during Andersson’s visit.

A joint press conference is planned for the afternoon.

Swedish vocabulary: Regeringskansliet – Swedish Government Offices

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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