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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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
The Baltic Voyager, a Russian vessel, anchored outside Helsingborg. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Sweden to offer fourth vaccine dose to over-65s 
 
Sweden on Monday said it would extend the threshold for offering a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine from 80 years old, down to 65, with the aim of maintaining protection against the virus in this age range. 
 
“The goal is exactly the same as before — to limit the risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19, because we are still seeing a significant spread both in Sweden and in other countries,” said Karin Tegmark Wisell, general director of the Public Health Agency, in a press statement
 
Swedish Vocab: fortfarande – still 
 
 
Right-wing voters in Sweden against profit-making in welfare
 
A full 67 percent of people in Sweden now support a ban on companies making profits from supplying state-funded welfare services such as schools, healthcare, and elderly care, with even voters for right-wing parties becoming more negative, a new survey by the SOM institute at Gothenburg University has found. 
 
“There has actually never been a particularly positive sentiment towards making profits from supplying tax-financed healthcare, education, and elderly care,” said Johan Martinsson, Research Director at the university’s Laboratory of Opinion Research. “But in recent years opinion has swung even further in a negative direction, and even fewer want to allow it.” 
 
Even among right-wing voters, the so-called balansmåttet or “trust margin”, which subtracts the percentage who oppose a profit ban from the percentage who support one, is now positive at +23, after having been below zero in 2018. 
 
“In fact, all groups have become slightly more negative, but the biggest change has taken place on the right, and it has grown for three years in a row,” Martinsson said. 
 
Swedish Vocab: en förändring – a change
 
Swedes most in favour of defence spending in Europe 

People in Sweden are more positive towards increased defence spending than citizens of any other country in the EU, according to a new opinion poll by Novus. Torbjörn Sjöström, Novus’ chief executive, put this down to Swedes’ higher trust in government. 

“This is often the case when politicians unveil a big investment, so now, with the Ukraine war in the background, Swedes are positive towards it, because people still have relatively big trust in government,” he told Swedish state broadcaster SR. 

Some 78 percent of people in Sweden think that the defence budget should increase, compared to an EU average of 52 percent. 

Swedish Vocab: en satsning – an investment

Municipalities in Sweden call on government to commit to backing refugee spending 
 
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions has called for the government to guarantee that municipalities will be reimbursed for the increased spending needed to support the expected 76,000 refugees coming to Sweden from Ukraine. 

“Caring for refugees is ultimately a national responsibility, and today the municipalities have no guarantee that they will be reimbursed for all the costs that are likely to arise,” Annika Wallenskog, the association’s chief economist, told Sweden’s TT newswire. 

The association has sent in a request for clarification to the government. 

The association also wants the government to change some regulations, so that Ukrainian mothers can get more than the current 15 hours a week of daycare for their children over the age of three.

Finally, it wants the government to commit money towards education in the Ukrainian language, as current budgets are insufficient.  

Swedish Vocab: en krav – a demand
 
Russian banana boat stranded after port workers refuse to land cargo 
 
The Russian cargo ship Baltic Performer is stuck outside the port of Helsingborg, unable to unload its cargo of bananas from Ecuador, after a decision from the Swedish Dockworkers Union not to unload cargos from Russian vessels. 
 
The ship’s owners tried but failed over the weekend to get workers who are members of the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union to unload the cargo. While the union has also voted not to unload Russian vessels, the decision will not come into force for a month.
 
But over the weekend, the owners nonetheless failed to get sufficient workers, meaning the bananas remain on board while the ship has anchored outside the port. 
 
Swedish Vocab: att ankra – to anchor 

Russia’s propaganda machine has “completely failed” in Ukraine: Psychological Defence Agency 

Sweden’s Psychological Defence Agency has condemned Russia’s propaganda operation in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine as a “total failure”, pointing to the way that social media accounts run by Russian operatives have seen posts in favour of Russia’s invasion drowned out by louder critical voices. 

“We have a good understanding of how they operate and here they have totally failed,” Mikael Tofvesson, chief of one of the agency’s units. 

He points to a tweet from the Russian foreign department that argued that everything was going according to plan and “all our goals are going to be met”. “Life will soon return to normal in the areas freed from the nationalists.” 

The tweet immediately spurred thousands of tweets ridiculing the Russian position, posting images of burning Russian vehicles and memes about Bagdad Bob. 

“That’s something they should only have posted in a medium that they themselves control and know that they will not get any pushback,” he said. “They made themselves the target, which is unprofessional.” 

Swedish Vocab: har totalt misslyckats – has completely failed

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Court rules on Easter rioters, a wolf shot in Skåne, Midsummer drownings, and Nato talks: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Court in Örebro to rule on four involved in Easter riots 

A court in Örebro will rule today on four men accused of throwing stones at police over the Easter weekend, and in some cases also filmed attacks on police and encouraged others to carry out attacks. 

The men are accused of the crime of blåljussabotage, literally “blue light sabotage”, which covers attacks on police officers and their cars and other equipment. 

According to the prosecution, the four men attacked and threatened police, damaged police vehicles, and injured police dogs. The attacks took place during protests against plans by the far-right activist Rasmus Paludan to burn copies of the Koran in the city. 

Swedish vocab: blåljussabotage – damaging police property and materials.

Two men drowned in lakes in Sweden over Midsummer weekend 

Police have reported two separate cases of elderly men drowning over the Midsummer weekend, one in Blekinge in southern Sweden, and the other in Vaxholm, outside Stockholm. 
 
In Blekinge, a  70-year-old man died after falling into the Halen lake in Olofström, on Sunday evening. He was pulled from the water before the ambulance arrived but was declared dead at 9pm. One of the man’s relatives called the emergency services. 

The man in Vaxholm, who was also described as “elderly”, died after falling overboard from a boat on Sunday afternoon. The man’s body was found by divers at 17.30pm.

Swedish vocab: en drunkningsolycka – a drowning accident 

Wolf shot in southern Sweden after attacking sheep

A wolf was shot on Sunday in Svälov, a municipality between the cities of Lund and Helsingborg in southern Sweden. The animal, one of the wolves spotted recently in the far south of Sweden, had attacked a sheep.

“The farmer fired off a warning shot to discourage further attacks, but that did not help, and so a deadly shot was then fired,” said Tom Espgård, who works on predatory animals for Skåne county. 

The wolf, a female weighing 34kg, was shot according to a paragraph in Sweden’s hunting law which allows livestock owners to shoot predators if they find them attacking their animals. 

Swedish vocab: en tamdjursägare – a livestock owner

Swedish PM: ‘I look forward to meeting Erdogan in Madrid’ 

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson responded positively to the downbeat assessment of Nato talks with Turkey given by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Saturday. 

“Good call earlier today with President Erdogan of Turkey on Sweden’s Nato application,” Andersson wrote on Twitter. “Agreed on the importance of making progress in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other Allied leaders.”

In a thread posted on Twitter, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey said that Erdogan had told Andersson that Sweden had so far taken “no tangible action” towards making “concrete changes in its attitude towards PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization”. 

The thread also said that Turkey wants several people it sees as connected to these organisations extradited from Sweden. 

Read our story on Erdogan’s comments here

Swedish vocab: utlämnade – extradited 

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