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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.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
An office worker partakes in a digital meeting in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said on Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: all verksamhet – all operations 

Sweden Democrats give leader green light to join Nato 

The leader of the populist Sweden Democrats party has been given a mandate by his party to push for Nato membership, meaning there is now a majority in parliament in favour of joining.

The party called a special meeting of its decision-making committee on Monday morning and shortly after midday, the committee gave Jimmie Åkesson, the party’s leader, a mandate to seek Nato membership for Sweden.

“We are not making this shift in our position without due consideration, but we have been in contact with The Finns, our sister party in Finland, who have also come to the same conclusion,” Aron Emilsson, the party’s foreign policy spokesperson told the Expressen newspaper. “Our assessment is that the timetable presented by the Social Democrats is far too slow.”

Swedish vocab: att ge grönt ljus – to give a green light

Digital meetings halved Swedish public sector flight emissions: report

The increase in digital meetings meant that emissions from flights taken by Sweden’s government agencies nearly halved in 2021, according to a new report from Sweden’s Environmental Protection Agency. 

More than 15.5 million digital meetings were held in 2021, the report has found, up 50 percent on 2020, while the emissions from work travel in total fell by 30 percent. 

However, this was not enough to stop a rise in emissions from government agencies over the year to 324,000 tonnes, due to a 12 percent rise in “emissions from other vehicles”, connected with increased use of ice breakers and more infrastructure work carried out by the Swedish Transport Agency.

Swedish vocab: utsläpp – emissions

Viking treasure for sale in Sweden 

A Viking treasure comprising 912 coins and 40 silver objects is to be sold at auction in Sweden, in what researchers are condemning as “a great tragedy”. 

The treasure, which dates back to 1018, was found in the 1980s in a writing desk, where a relative of the current owner had left the coins. 

While archeological discoveries found outside need to be reported to the regional government under Swedish law, this is not the case for finds made indoors, meaning the owners have the right to sell the objects at auction. 

“The auction is a great tragedy,” said Birgitta Hårdh, the professor emeritus of archeology who exhibited the finds at Lund’s Historical Museum. “It belongs to the state and should not be sold, in my view. It would be very, very tragic if the treasure were to be split up.” 

Swedish vocab: en utställning – an exhibition

Sweden has lowest unemployment in 2.5 years: report 

Sweden has the lowest unemployment in 2.5 years, with a record number of vacancies and low number of redundancies, the Swedish Public Employment agency has reported.

“Everything taken together, this is a very good labour market,” said Anders Ljungberg, from the agency. 

Nearly 355,000 people were registered as unemployed at the end of March, a fall of 86,000 people on the same month last year, bringing unemployment to 7 percent, the lowest rate since September 2019.

Swedish vocab: Summa summarum – everything taken together 

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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