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

The spring budget, 'vabbing' abroad and the latest on the riots. Find out what's going on in Sweden on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
A parent in Sweden looks after a sick child. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

No rioting in Malmö on Monday night

Several days of unrest in Sweden, sparked by a far-right group’s burning of the Koran, have injured at least 40 people, police said on Monday, calling for more resources to deal with the violence.
Protests, which started on Thursday, turned violent in several cities over the past four days, leaving 26 police officers and 14 civilians injured, police said at a press conference on Monday. About 20 police vehicles were burned or damaged.
However, on Monday night, the riots appeared to have ceased. There was no rioting last night in Malmö, or any of the other cities hit by riots over the past four days.
“It’s even been quieter than a normal night,” said Johnny Gustafsson, in the eastern region which has responsibility for Linköping and Norrköping, two of the cities affected.  

In Malmö, two cars were burned on Monday night, but police do not believe the fires were connected to the riots. 

More Muslim countries meanwhile protested the burning of their religion’s holy book.

Officials in several Muslim countries condemned the move that sparked the protests: the burning of the holy book by the leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Islam group Hard Line, the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan.

Aiming to drum up support ahead of September elections, he has declared a “tour” of Sweden, planning to visit cities and towns with large Muslim populations with the intent of burning copies of the Koran as the faithful mark the holy month of Ramadan.

Paludan intends to stand in the September poll but does not yet have the necessary signatures to secure his candidacy.

Swedish Vocab: lugn – calm

Sweden boosts spending on civil defence in spring budget

Sweden is to channel a further 800 million kronor to local government and other organisations to bolster Sweden’s civil defence capabilities, the country’s finance minister has announced.

The new funding, which will go to municipalities, regional government, and other organisations, was announced of part of the country’s spring budget, announced on Tuesday.

“This will strengthen our ability to resist in both war and peace,” Sweden’s finance minister, Mikael Damberg, said in a press conference. “If the worst happens, it’s important that there is physical protection for the population.”

The government is channelling 91m kronor towards renovating Sweden’s 65,000 bomb shelters, and will also fund the repair the country’s network of emergency sirens, known as Hesa Fredrik, or Hoarse Fredrik, many of which are currently out of order.

Here is The Local’s explainer on the spring budget proposal, and what it could mean for you.

Swedish Vocab: en insats – an input/effort

Court rules that people from Sweden can receive child sickness benefits abroad

Sweden’s highest civil court has ruled that those working from abroad can still receive Sweden’s child sickness benefit, known in Sweden as “Vård av barn”, or more commonly, vab. 

A woman who was working from South Africa was turned down by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, when she applied to receive payments. The court had decided that she is indeed able to receive the benefit, and has ordered the agency to pay her. 

Swedish Vocab: att neka – to deny 

Three arrested in Malmö in connection with Koran riots   

Three people have been arrested in Malmö on Sunday night after they were seen filling plastic bottles with petrol at a garage, in connection with the riots seen Rosengård on Saturday and Sunday night. 

A large gathering of young men formed around the street of Ramels Väg in the Rosengård neighbourhood, burning copies of the Koran, and police were pummelled with stones. Police used teargas to disperse the crowd, and by 3am on Monday morning, the streets were quiet. 

Eight people were seized by police on Saturday night, and three were arrested on suspicion of “destruction causing public endangerment”. 

“They were seen filling petrol in plastic bottles at a garage. They are suspected of planning to use the petrol-filled bottles as some form of molotov cocktail,” police spokesperson Filip Annas said. 

Swedish Vocab: anhållna – arrested 

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For members


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