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

Waiting times, chef shortages, and Erdogan calls the PM: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Photo: Mats Schagerström/TT

‘Regions should work together to cut wait times for healthcare’ 

A government inquiry into long waiting times in healthcare has called for Sweden’s regions to work more closely together to cut queues to see GPs and specialists, arguing that the current ‘healthcare guarantee’ system is not working. 

“My feeling is that access to healthcare hasn’t had the highest priority, perhaps because we have had good results from a medical point of view otherwise, and so people have contented themselves with that,” said Gunilla Gunnarsson, the government’s special investigator for healthcare, told TT. 

The healthcare guarantee, which means people who should be able to see a doctor within three days, and a consultant within three months, is not being followed, she said. 

Swedish vocab: att luta sig mot – to content yourself with

Swedish restaurants short 6,000 staff for summer 

Swedish restaurants are struggling to hire staff ahead of this summer, with 6,000 restaurant jobs currently on offer at the Swedish Public Employment Service, Sweden’s state broadcaster SR has said. 

“There is a temporary shortage now as there are so many companies looking for staff at the same time, they are all competing over the same personnel,” Emil Persson, a labour market analyst at the service told SR. “The shortage is going to disappear as more and more companies succeed in recruiting, but then there’s also a long-tun shortage remaining.” 

He said the solution was to educate more people as chefs. 

Swedish Vocab: en brist – a shortage 

Finland expects Turkey hurdle to delay Nato process 

Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto has said that he expects it to take several weeks to overcome Turkey’s objections to Sweden and Finland’s Nato membership. 

“I’m optimistic that we will reach a solution to the problem, but it might take time,” he told Finland’s state broadcaster Yle. 

Haavisto said that Finland is ready to give Turkey the guarantees it demands over support for groups with alleged links to the PKK terror group. 

“A few days ago, I said that this question would need to be discussed for several days, now I can cautiously say that this is going to be discussed for several weeks,” he said. 

Swedish Vocab: påstådd – alleged 

Turkey’s Erdogan unyielding in call with Swedish PM 

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Sweden end its “political, economic and weapons support for terror groups, in a call with Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson on Saturday.

The call came on the same day that Erdogan gave a similar message to UN Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. 

“Unless Sweden and Finland clearly show that they will stand in solidarity with Turkey on fundamental issues, especially in the fight against terrorism, we will not approach these countries’ Nato membership positively,” Erdogan told Stoltenberg. 

Turkey has long accused Nordic countries, in particular Sweden which has a strong Turkish immigrant community, of harbouring extremist Kurdish groups as well as supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based preacher wanted over the failed 2016 coup.

Swedish Vocab: att ställa krav – to make demands 

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For members


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

Nato deal with Turkey, pilot strike postponed, and the return of nuclear: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Turkey drops objections to Sweden joining Nato

Turkey on Tuesday evening dropped its objections to Sweden and Finland joining Nato, paving the way for the two Nordic nations to join the North Atlantic defence alliance.

“We have reached an agreement between Sweden, Turkey and Finland which means that Turkey now accepts that we will be granted invitee status in Nato. That’s important, as it will improve Sweden’s security,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said after a meeting in Madrid with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a press release, Nato said that the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland had all signed a trilateral memorandum (find copy here) which addressed “Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns”.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Nato leaders would as a result now be able to issue a formal invitation to Sweden and Finland to join the alliance.

“I’m pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join Nato. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports,
and the fight against terrorism,” he said.

In the deal, Sweden commits to resuming weapons sales to Turkey, to cease supporting the Kurdish PYD government in northern Syria, and to handle extradition requests from Turkey for those it suspects of links to the PKK or Gülen Movement “expeditiously and thoroughly”.  

Swedish Vocab: en överenskommelse  – an agreement 

Pilot unions postpone strike until Saturday 

Sweden’s pilot union has postponed a strike planned for Wednesday until Saturday morning, to provide time for extra negotiations with the Scandinavian airline SAS. 

As many as 900 pilots were expected to go on strike, affecting up to 30,000 travellers, but at forty minutes past midnight on Wednesday, SAS said that the talks would be extended. 

Swedish Vocab: förhandlingar – negotiations

Risk of summer water shortages across Sweden 

Groundwater levels are low across large parts of Sweden, making water shortages likely, the Geological Survey of Sweden has said in its latest report

Groundwater levels are low across almost all of Götaland, most of Svealand och about half of Norrland, compared with what is normal for the season, meaning even a normally dry summer will lead to shortages. 

Swedish Vocab: grundvatten – groundwater  

Sweden’s state power company to study building mini nuclear plants

Sweden’s state power company Vattenfall is looking into building a series of small modular nuclear reactors at the site of its decommissioned Ringhals plant, in what would be the first new nuclear power station in the country since 1980.

The company’s chief executive Anna Borg said in a press release on Tuesday that the first new reactors could come into operation by the early 2030s, “provided that a pilot study concludes that it would be profitable and all other conditions for a future investment decision are met, in particular, new regulations for nuclear power”.

The statement comes at a time when Sweden’s right-wing opposition has politicised the issue of nuclear power, criticising the Social Democrat-led government for allowing the first two nuclear power plants built at Ringhals near Gothenburg to be decommissioned in 2019 and 2020, five years earlier than intended when they were built.

“I think it’s fantastic and exciting news that Vattenfall wants to invest in new nuclear power in southern Sweden,” said Carl-Oskar Bolin, chair of the Swedish parliament’s business committee. “This is exactly what’s required to stabilise power prices in the long run.”

Swedish Vocab: att utreda – to investigate