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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

More Paludan protests, a security deal and the Eurovision semifinal. Here's Sweden's news on Thursday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Cornelia Jakobs after winning Melodifestivalen and becoming Sweden's entry for Eurovision 2022. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

UK PM signs security deal with Sweden ahead of Nato decision

UK prime minister Boris Johnson was in Sweden yesterday, where he met with his Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson.

The two signed a security assurance agreement outside Andersson’s official country residence Harpsund, just days before the country is expected to announce a decision to join the Nato security alliance.

According to the text of the so-called “Political Declaration of Solidarity,” each country commits to come to the other’s aid in the even of an attack.

“Should either country suffer a disaster or an attack, the United Kingdom and Sweden will, upon request from the affected country, assist each other in a variety of ways, which may include military means,” the text reads.

But it adds a caveat. “Such an intensified cooperation will remain fully in line in with each country’s security and defence policy and is designed to complement not replace existing European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.”

According to a press release from the UK government, as part of the deal the UK will also offer to send ships, troops and fighter jets to the Nordic region.

You can see the full article on the security deal and press conference here, as well as our key points on what it actually covers here.

Swedish vocabulary: solidaritetsförklaring – Political Declaration of Solidarity

Sweden to compete in Eurovision semifinal

Cornelia Jakobs, winner of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, will compete in the Eurovision semifinal in Turin tonight.

If she qualifies for the final – which bookmakers expect her to do – she will compete on Saturday night alongside the winners of Wednesday’s semifinal and the ‘big five’ countries who automatically qualify: Spain, the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

On Tuesday, Jakobs was given a day-long speaking ban by her voice coach, her spokesperson Frida Boström told TT.

“She talks and talks all the time. Eventually, her voice coach told her to be completely quiet so her voice will last,” she said.

You can listen to Jakobs’ entry, Hold Me Closer, below.

 

Swedish vocabulary: talförbud – speech ban

Police approve Paludan’s application to hold demonstrations in Sweden

Police have given right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan approval to hold demonstrations at several locations in Sweden.

Demonstrations will be held in multiple cities, including Uppsala, Gothenburg and Trollhättan.

An earlier application to hold a demonstration or “public event” in Borås was rejected by police. The decision was appealed to city court, who stated that there was no legal reason why the event could not be held.

That court decision has provided the basis for the police’s decision to approve applications for these new demonstrations.

“That’s the law, so that’s what we have to hold ourselves to,” Anders Börjesson, vice command chief in the West police region told TT.

“We assess the situation here and now, the situation we have today and the existing conditions,” he continued. “It is based on order and the security situation. And this time we have come to the conclusion that we can grant permission.”

Swedish vocabulary: manifestationer – demonstrations

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Nato invites Sweden to join, labour market testing proposed and property prices continue to fall. Here's Sweden's news on Thursday.

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

Sweden and Finland formally invited to become Nato members

Nato leaders agreed on Wednesday to formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance after Turkey struck a deal with the Nordic duo to drop its objections, a statement said.

“Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of Nato, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols,” a declaration from a summit in Madrid said.

The statement on the invitation, point 18 out of 20 in the declaration, stressed the importance of the trilateral memorandum struck with Turkey on Tuesday night.

“In any accession to the Alliance, it is of vital importance that the legitimate security concerns of all Allies are properly addressed,” the declaration reads. “We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral memorandum between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden to that effect.”

Finland and Sweden joining Nato “will make them safer, Nato stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure,” the declaration continue.

It also reiterated security guarantees given by Nato countries, stating that during the accession process the security of Sweden and Finland would be “of direct importance to the Alliance”.

Swedish vocabulary: medlem – member

Sweden’s Liberal Party catches up with Centre in new poll

Sweden’s two small centrist parties are now nearly neck and neck, according to a new poll, with the Liberal Party catching up with the Centre Party.

According to a poll carried out by Novus for state broadcaster SVT, support for the Liberal Party has leapt by 1.5 percent to 5.0 percent, putting it safely over the four percent threshold for entering parliament, and within a whisker of the Centre Party’s 5.4 percent. 

Swedish vocabulary: en förändring – a change

Swedish government calls for return of labour market testing for work permits

Sweden’s government has called for labour migration from non-EU countries to once again be limited to jobs where there a a recognised shortage of labour.

Sweden’s migration minister Anders Ygeman told a press conference on Wednesday that the government would soon launch an inquiry into how best to reintroduce the so-called “labour market test” for work permits. The inquiry will also look at ways to combat wage dumping and the exploitation of labour migrants.

According to Ygeman, scrapping the labour market test system in 2008 has resulted in extensive labour migration, often in occupations where there is no shortage of labour.

There had, he said, been “no requirements on job contracts, no requirement that the job should be filling a position with a national shortage, no limit for the number of labour migrants coming to Sweden, no requirement to support relatives financially, and no requirement for full-time work”.

All other countries in Europe make these demands for work permits “in various combinations,” he said.

According to Ygeman, Sweden’s unusually liberal system has led to it being abused by criminals, to wage dumping, and have also made it harder for the unemployed and people seeking asylum in Sweden to find work.

The inquiry – utredning, in Swedish – will look into what skilled labour Sweden lacks in order to create a labour market test, and ensure that the system can meet the needs of the Swedish labour market.

Swedish vocabulary: arbetsmarknadsprövning – labour market testing

Property prices drop for third month straight

The price of apartments or bostadsrätter i Stockholm municipality fell for the third month in a row in June. This time, prices dropped by more than 5 percent (4.3 percent after adjustments for seasonal factors), according to Danske Bank’s property price indicator.

Since prices peaked in March, properties in Stockholm have become almost 8 percent cheaper.

According to Danske Bank, the drop is due to buyers becoming more cautious rather than a lack of properties for sale, as there is still a good supply of housing on the market.

Prices are expected to continue to drop following today’s interest rate news from Sweden’s central bank. Danske Bank expects that the key interest rate in February next year will land at 2 percent.

“Against this background, it cannot be ruled out that the fall in prices may be greater than 10% both in Stockholm and in other parts of the country, despite the fact that the labour market is still a mainstay of household income”, the bank’s chief economist Michael Drahn said in a press statement.

Swedish vocabulary: avvaktande – cautious

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