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Today in Sweden: a roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Sweden's terror threat, a new poll on Nato, Paludan's sights on parliament and work permit laws are some of the main news stories from Sweden on Thursday.

Today in Sweden: a roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Rasmus Paludan in Denmark on Tuesday April 19th, where he held a koran-burning demonstration in Tårnby, south of Copenhagen. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/TT

Koran burnings could raise Sweden’s terror threat

After Rasmus Paludan’s Koran burnings in a number of Swedish cities over the Easter weekend, Sweden has been identified by multiple countries as a country where offences towards Islam are permitted.

Actions such as this may affect the terror threat against Sweden, according to NCT, Sweden’s national centre in charge of analysing the terror threat against the country.

“We’ve seen in the past that perceived violations can act as a driving force in the intention to carry out terror attacks,” head of the centre, Ethen Limén, told TT newswire.

The terror threat against Sweden remains at level three on a five-level scale, NCT confirm in their new yearly analysis. This means that an attack could occur.

The fact that Sweden is linked to events which can be seen as offensive towards Muslims or Islam is one example of a factor which could increase the risk of inspiring terror attacks, according to NCT.

After Paludan’s Koran burnings over Easter, news spread over the world and the events have been condemned by a number of countries with large Muslim populations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, according to newspaper DN.

Swedish vocabulary: terrorhot – terror threat

Majority of Swedes want to join Nato

For the first time, a majority of Swedes are in favour of Sweden joining Nato, according to a new Novus poll carried out on behalf of SVT.

Just one week ago, 45 percent of Swedes were in favour of membership. That figure has now increased to 51 percent.

Novus’ poll was carried out after Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin visited Stockholm, holding a joint press conference with Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson.

Finland appears close to saying yes to Finnish membership of Nato, which could also increase the chances of Sweden joining the alliance. 

“64 percent of Swedes want to join if Finland do,” Novus’ CEO Torbjörn Sjöström told SVT.

According to Marin, a Finnish answer on the question of Nato membership can be expected “within weeks”. In Sweden, a security analysis is currently being carried out between the government and the parliamentary parties, with a report due on the 31st of May, at the latest. Andersson has hinted, however, that the analysis could be ready earlier.

Swedish vocabulary: medlemskap – membership

Danish far-right extremist Rasmus Paludan to stand in Swedish election

Rasmus Paludan and his right-wing extremist party Stram Kurs (“Hard Line”) will be standing in Sweden’s parliamentary election in September this year, Sweden’s election authority confirmed to newswire TT.

In 2019, Paludan stood in Danish parliamentary elections, achieving only 1.8 percent of the vote. Under Denmark’s proportional representation system, parties must achieve at least two percent of the vote in order to enter the Danish parliament.

In Sweden, you must be a Swedish citizen in order to be elected to parliament. Paludan’s father is Swedish, and he applied for and was granted Swedish citizenship in 2020.

In order to enter the Swedish parliament, Paludan must win at least for percent of the vote in the upcoming election.

To put that in to perspective, current parliamentary parties the Liberals and the Green Party are currently polling under four percent, and are thereby at risk of losing their representatives in the Swedish Riksdag.

Over the Easter weekend, which coincided this year with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he visited, or planned to visit, Linköping, Norrköping, Örebro, Landskrona, Malmö and the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby to hold “demonstrations”, setting fire to the Koran in order to provoke people living in these areas. Paludan has described these visits as an “election tour”.

Paludan’s demonstrations resulted in riots involving vandalism and violence aimed primarily at police.

At least 40 people have been arrested or charged, many of whom were minors. In total, 26 police officers have been injured.

Swedish vocabulary: att kandidera – to stand in an election

Sweden’s new work permit law passed in parliament

A new work permit law designed to minimise the number of so-called talent deportations, where qualified professionals are deported due to minor paperwork issues, passed in the Swedish parliament yesterday afternoon.

The proposal includes a new work permit for “some highly qualified individuals” to come to Sweden in order to seek work or start a business, as well as a proposal targeting these talent deportations, stating that work permits do not need to be recalled in cases with “minor cases of deviation” from work permit laws, or “if revoking the work permit does not seem reasonable in light of the circumstances”.

In addition to this, work permits will only be issued to applicants who already have a job contract, employers will be liable to report to authorities if the terms of employment are changed and become less favourable, and employers will be subject to fines if they do not provide written information to the Migration Agency about the applicant’s terms of employment.

Furthermore, work permit holders wishing to bring family with them will need to prove that they can provide for their family members before their applications are approved.

Here is The Local’s guide on the law, and how it will affect foreigners wishing to work in Sweden.

Swedish vocabulary: arbetstillstånd – work permit

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Today in Sweden: A round up of the latest news on Friday

The rising cost of ice cream, coronavirus warnings and the hottest Midsummer in 50 years. Here's Sweden's news on Friday.

Today in Sweden: A round up of the latest news on Friday

Rising cost of ice cream

As you reach for something cool this Midsummer, you may notice that the price of ice cream has increased in Sweden.

According to Matpriskollen, their best-selling Magnum almonds are 13 percent more expensive this year and the price of Piggelin ice creams has risen by 24 percent.

The rising cost of energy and raw materials has made it more expensive for ice cream manufacturers to run their factories. 

“Many raw materials have risen quite sharply in price, everything from milk to plastic packaging”, Stefan Carlsson, CEO of the manufacturer Sia Glass said.

And if you’re wondering what happened to the ice cream Twister Spirello; it is currently unavailable in Sweden. The ice cream is manufactured in Russia, where GB Glace no longer import and export from, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are actively working to find alternative manufacturing opportunities,” Sandhya Forselius, communications manager at Unilever, which owns GB Glace, wrote in an email to newswire TT.

Warnings over coronavirus spreading during Midsummer festivities as cases rise

A doctor in the Blekinge region has warned people to be cautious about joining in Midsummer parties if they have any Covid symptoms, as cases have doubled over the last four weeks.

“Think ahead this Midsummer, especially if you are going to celebrate with elderly and fragile people. Refrain if you feel the slightest cold,” infection control doctor Bengt Wittesjö said in a press release.

In the Blekinge region, the number of positive Covid cases has increased from six percent in week 21, to 44 percent in week 25 and there are now more people in hospital with Covid.

At the hospitals in Blekinge, protection measures such as masks have been reintroduced.

‘Hottest in 50 years’: Swedish Midsummer set to be a scorcher

This Midsummer could be Sweden’s warmest since 1970, weather forecasters say, with temperatures of up to 30 degrees expected for southern Sweden and between 20-25 degrees expected further north.

“It could potentially be the hottest Midsummer’s Eve in 50 years,” SVT’s meteorologist Tora Tomasdottir told the public broadcaster.

In 1970, temperatures of 34.4 degrees were measured in Köping on Midsummer.

“It’s not going to be that hot this year, but we could reach over the 31 degrees measured in Målilla six years ago,” she further told SVT.

“For those planning on partying all night long, you maybe don’t need to take that many extra layers with you, as it will be warm during the evening, too,” Tomasdottir told SVT.

The Swedish Public Health Agency is also warning people to take care in the heat by drinking plenty of fluids and trying to keep cool.

“In general, we in Sweden have a bad idea of ​​how dangerous the heat can be. It can be dangerous for everyone, not just for risk groups”, Elin Andersson, researcher in environmental health at the Swedish Public Health Agency, said.