Swedish police to double number of passport appointment times
From Easter Monday, police in Sweden will extend opening times at passport offices so that the number of appointment times for those seeking a new passport will double.
In a press release issued on Thursday evening, the police said there were also recruiting 400 new staff to deal with the post-pandemic surge in applications which has led to waiting times more than six months long in some regions.
“We are working across the board to improve the situation. From Monday onwards we are going to increase opening times successively and bring in the possibility to book passport times even outside office hours,” said Per Engström, who has been appointed to lead “a national special event” for the passport crisis.
Swedish Vocab: att fördubbla – to double
Sweden proposes mandatory prison sentences for sex-buyers
People found guilty of buying sex will no longer be able to get away with a fine, under new proposals to tighten up Sweden’s sex law presented on Thursday evening.
The proposals, are part of a new 40-point program to crack down on male violence against women agreed between the Social Democrats and the Green Party.
The minimum punishment for rape and child rape is also increased to three years in prison under the proposal.
Swedish Vocab: en torsk – a sex-buyer (slang)
Swedish PM on Nato: ‘I see no point in delaying the process’
Sweden’s Prime Minister said on Wednesday that she aimed to make a decision on Nato membership early enough for it not to clash with this September’s general election, as her Finnish counterpart said her country would decide “within weeks”.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Stockholm with Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Andersson said that while Sweden would take as much time as necessary to properly assess the changed security situation, it would not draw out the process unnecessarily.
“I see no point in delaying this analysis, or the process,” she said. “We also have elections in September, so we want to, of course, later in the year have more focus on that.”
Finland’s parliament will next week start a plenary session to discuss the implications of the Finnish government’s reassessment of the security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was published on Wednesday and which concluded that if Finland joined Nato “the deterrent effect” would be “considerably stronger than it is at present as it would be based on the capabilities of the entire Alliance”.
“I think it will happen quite fast. Within weeks, not within months,” Marin told reporters at the press conference.
Swedish Vocab: ett nytt säkerhetspolitiskt läge – a new security situation
Sweden’s PM wants to apply to join Nato at end of June: report
Sweden’s Prime Minister has already decided to join Nato, with her government planning to submit Sweden’s application at the Madrid summit of the security alliance at the end of June, the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper has reported.
The newspaper made the claim in a column by its political commentator, on the day that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is due to meet her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Stockholm to discuss the publication of Finland’s new report on the security situation.
At the same time, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that the Social Democrats have called a special meeting of the party’s ruling committee for May 24th, where it could decide to back Nato membership.
The meeting, the newspaper claims, will be the culmination of a six-week internal party dialogue punctuated by three national meetings on security politics, and a meeting in Stockholm on May 23rd of all 26 district chairs.
It is scheduled to last for five hours and will take place at the party headquarters in Stockholm.
Swedish Vocab: gräsrötterna – the grass roots/the base of a political party
‘Stay away from elderly at Easter if you are sick’: Swedish Public Health Agency
Sweden’s Public Health Agency has recommended that people in Sweden keep a look for symptoms among themselves, especially if they are planning to celebrate Easter with the elderly.
“You need to make your own judgement. It’s not as strict as it was earlier when it was the even the mildest symptoms, but you should make your own assessment,” Britta Björkholm, a unit chief with the Public Health Agency, told TT.
“If you’re vaccinated, we see no reason under the recommendations to limit your travel or Easter celebrations.”