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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

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 Friday
A truck after sliding off the road on the E18 road in February. Photo. Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish parliament blocks reward Centre Party got for backing PM

Sweden’s parliament has voted down a bill which would have made it easier to build houses close to the sea or lakes. The bill was one of the two key policies the Centre Party demanded in exchange for letting Magdalena Andersson take up her position as Sweden’s prime minister in the autumn. 

The policy was the subject of tense discussions between the Centre Party and the Green Party, which was then in government and wanted to tighten planning policy instead. 

The Moderate Party teamed up with the Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats, Sweden Democrats and Left party to shoot down the bill.

Swedish Vocab: strandskydd – protection for the coast

Spring snow causes traffic chaos across Sweden 

Heavy snowfall across central Sweden led to a string of car accidents on Thursday evening and is expected to lead to choas on the roads on Friday. In Örebro, several trucks skidded off the road on Thursday night due to the extremely icy and slippery roads. In Gästrikland, strong winds blew trees down onto houses and across several roads, which is expected to lead to traffic disruptions on Friday. No one was injured. 

The snowstorms are now moving north, with the coastal stretch between Umeå and Luleå expected to see winds and heavy snow on Friday. 

Swedish Vocab: oberäknelig – unpredictable

Volvo warns that Ukraine war will hit profits  

Volvo has written down its 4bn kronor (€390m) of its assets in Russia due to the suspension of operations in the country, warning in a press release on Friday that this would hit the group’s operating income in the first tree months of this year. 

“Since the war in Ukraine started and sanctions were imposed, all sales, service and production in Russia have been suspended,” the group said, adding that it expressed “its deepest sympathy with all the people suffering due to the devastating war in Ukraine and is committed to supporting affected employees, families and communities.” 

The group makes about three percent of its sales in Russia and has assets of about 9 billion kronor in the country, of which 6bn is kronor is cash which it hopes to recover in the coming years. 

Swedish Vocab: att vinstvarna – to issue a profits warning 

Government to announce how municipalities will share care of Ukrainians 
 
Sweden’s migration minister, Anders Ygeman, is due today to lay out a proposal for how the reception of Ukrainian refugees will be shared between municipalities, the government said in a press release on Friday morning. 

Every municipality will be expected to play a role and the Migration Agency is being given the responsibility of making sure that accommodation is found in places across the country.

Swedish Vocab: jämn – even 

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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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