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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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.

The activist Tor Tuorda shows the area where the Gallók/Kallak mine could be established.
The activist Tor Tuorda shows the area where the Gallók/Kallak mine could be established. Photo: Paul Wennerholm / TT

Green Party reports Sweden’s business minister over Kallak/Gallók mine 

Sweden’s green party has reported the country’s business minister, Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson. after reports in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper of conflicts of interests running up to the decision.

One of the key state secretaries in his department had been part of the team at the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), which classed the ore body as “of national interest” ten years ago. 

According to the newspaper, top officials at SGU have campaigned for the mine on social media, and SGU officials have been taken on trips to the Alps by the consortium trying to build the mine. 

“What has come forward is extremely serious,” the Green Party’s spokesperson, Märta Stenevi, told the newspaper. 

Swedish vocab: jäv – conflicts of interest

“We are serious about the EU defence clause”: German chancellor

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has given reassurances that Germany has a “duty to help” other EU member states in the event of an attack from outside, as Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson visited him for a state visit in Berlin. 

“We obviously have a duty to help our Nato partner — there is a mutual defence clause which is very clear — but also all the other partners in the EU,” he said at a press conference after the meeting. We are in a union, not just economically, but even culturally, politically and morally.” 

Sweden’s prime minister has earlier pointed to article 42.7 in the EU’s constitution, which states that member states have a duty to come to the aid of other member states in the event of an armed attack, as an important security guarantee.

But there are questions over whether the EU, which lacks Nato’s centralised decision-making and security apparatus, can provide similar safeguards to those that would be provided by Nato membership. 

At the meeting, the two leaders discussed the Ukraine situation and the need for Europe to free itself on dependence on Russian energy. 

Swedish vocab: att stötta – to support 

Civil Contingencies Agency to reactivate ‘civil conscription’ 

Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency has called on the government to reactivate Sweden’s civilplikten, or “civil conscription”, which allows Swedish citizens between 16 and 65 years old to be given “war placements” in critical services such as the rescue services, healthcare, and childcare, Sweden’s state broadcaster SR has reported .

“We believe that it’s possible to take such a decision rapidly so that we have enough people ready if the absolute worst were to happen,” Camilla Asp, the agency’s operations director, said. 

Civil conscription has been dormant since 2010. Sweden’s justice minister, Morgan Johansson, said the government would consider the issue once the agency had fully made its request. 

Swedish vocab: ett plikt – a duty  

Ericsson CEO expected to be sacked at AGM today

Börje Ekholm, chief executive of the Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson, is expected to be ousted at the company’s annual shareholder meeting at 3pm on Tuesday, following claims that the company paid money to Islamic State group in order to continue operating in Iraq. 

The AGM is being held digitally, however, meaning journalists will have access to neither Ekholm not to the company’s chairman Ronnie Leten at the meeting. 

Ekholm confirmed last month that payments had been made in order to transport material through areas controlled by terrorist groups, including those controlled by Islamic State, but he said Ericsson could not confirm whether the money went to Islamic State itself. 

Swedish vocab: en bolagsstämma – a company AGM

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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 

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