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

Turkey's demands, a free school defeat, a big wolf cull, and the arrival of the midnight sun: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Wolves in Stockholm's Skansen zoo. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Swedish PM admits defeat in proposal to change rules for free schools

Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, has admitted that her government’s proposal to change the rules for free schools does not have enough support among MPs to get passed in parliament. 

The new rules, would, among other things, have channeled more money to municipal schools per pupil to compensate them for having to offer places to the broadest range of pupils, and changed the queueing system. 

“I have a majority of the Swedish people on my side in this issue, but not a majority in the parliament,” Andersson said, in a speech to a congress of Sweden’s main teachers’ union.

Swedish Vocab: vinstdrivna – for-profit   

Turkeys publishes five demands on Sweden for Nato membership 

Turkey’s government has published a list of five demands it wants Sweden to fulfill before it will vote in favour of the country’s accession to Nato. 

“Under the collective security principle of Nato, Turkey expects concrete assurances from Sweden, which supports terrorist organisations,” the government wrote in a post in English on its website. 

The post refers to the PKK/PYD, conflating the PYD, the party which runs the Kurdish region in northern Syria, with the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US. 

It highlights the $367m Sweden has promised in support of the PYD, accused Sweden of supplying military equipment, particularly anti-tanks and drones, to Kurdish forces in northern Syria, criticises the arms embargo Sweden imposed on Turkey in 2019, and reiterates a call made in 2017 for Sweden to extradite “terrorists” linked to PKK/PYD and FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation), the Turkish government’s designation for the Gülen movement.  

Swedish Vocab: försäkringar – assurances 

Klarna to lay off hundreds of workers as it braces for downturn 

The Swedish payments giant Klarna is to lay off as many as 700 staff as it prepares for tougher economic conditions, the company’s co-founder and chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski has said in a speech to employees. 

“When we set our goals for 2022 in the autumn, it was a very different world from the one we had today,” the news site Breakit has revealed in a story. 

According to Klarna, it intends to lay off about 10 percent of its roughly 5,000 staff. According to the Dagens Industri newspaper, around 700 employees will lose their jobs. 

Swedish Vocab: att skära ner – to cut back 

Midnight sun to begin in northern Sweden 

The sun rose this morning in Karesuando, Sweden’s most northerly settlement, and will not now set until mid-July. The midnight sun first arrived at the Swedish border on Saturday and will now move south towards the Arctic Circle until the summer solstice on June 21st, with Kiruna getting midnight sun on May 28th, and Haparanda on June 16th. 

Swedish Vocab: dygnet runt – day and night, around the clock

Swedish government plans major wolf cull 

Sweden’s government is planning an unusually large cull of the country’s wolf population this year, with the country’s agriculture minister, Anna-Caren Sätherberg, telling Swedish state broadcaster SVT that the current population of around 400 is too many. 
“We see that the wolf population is growing every year and we want to make sure with this cull that we can get down to the goal set by parliament,” she said. “Right now we can see that the conflict level has increased and acceptance has fallen.”
In 2013, the parliament ruled that Sweden should have at least 170-270 wolves to meet the demands of an EU directive. 

Swedish vocab: vargstammen – the wolf population 

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

A 'racist' tweet, welfare cap, and oil-fired power: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Magdalena Andersson ‘deserves to be sacked’

The Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch savaged Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson over her party’s failure to get violent crime under control in the first party leader debate since the summer. 

“She has no solutions and deserves to get the sack,” Busch said at the Expressen newspaper’s debate, which was broadcast online.

“Criminality threatens the country as we know it,” Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson added. “It’s not getting better but only worse and worse.” 

Andersson agreed that gang crime was a serious threat, but said that politicians should listen to the experts. 

“It’s clear that we should listen to the police who say that we need to end segregation to stop new recruitment [to gangs],” she said. 

Swedish vocab: att få sparken – to get the sack

‘Next stop Kabul’: Sweden Democrat slammed for ‘racist’ tweet 

The Sweden Democrat MP Tobias Andersson has been criticised for a “disgraceful and racist” tweet in which he posted a picture of a train on the Stockholm Metro which the party has paid to have covered in its logo. 

Calling the train the “return-migration train”, he wrote: “You have a one-way ticket. Next stop Kabul!”. 

The Centre Party’s leader Annie Lööf said that the tweet was “disgraceful and racist” while the Liberal Party’s leader Johan Pehrson, who is hoping to join a government with Swedish Democrat support, said it was “tragic” and that Andersson “should be ashamed”. 

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson denied that the tweet was racist. 

“Return migration policies are not racist,” he said. “Our return migration policies are built on being voluntary. It is a way of creating a better society for us and for those who have not found their place here.” 

Swedish vocab: ovärdigt – disgraceful

Moderates pledge to stop unemployment payments after a year 

Sweden’s Moderate Party has called for A-kassa, Sweden’s system of subsidised unemployment insurance, to be limited to one year in a move aimed at speeding the return to work of those who have lost their jobs. 

The party is also proposing a welfare cap, which will mean that the total amount of benefits someone on the state emergency unemployment benefit can receive cannot be more than 75 percent of an average starting salary (which today would be about 22,000 kronor per month). 

“This is about breaking passivity by strengthening demands. We expect a lot of both people who are born here, and people who have come to Sweden,” said the party’s finance spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson.

Swedish vocab: att bryta passiviteten – to break up the passivity 

High power prices push Sweden to fire up oil-fired power plant 

Uniper Energy has been firing up the oil-fired Karlshamnsverket power plant for much of the last week to meet high demand and benefit from record-high power prices in southern Sweden, the company has told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper. 

“We’ve been running pretty regularly over the past week. This is today with the shortage of planned power production we have in southern Sweden today,” Torbjörn Larsson, the company’s press chief, told the newspaper. 

The power station burns 70,000 litres of oil every hour. 

Swedish vocab: brist – shortage 

Man behind stabbing at Swedish political festival admits to terror crimes

Forensic psychiatrists have diagnosed the 33-year-old as severely mentally disturbed, both at the time of his attack on Ing-Marie Wieselgren, and when they carried out their assessment.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor Henrik Olin said that Engström was “ready to take on responsibility for these suspected crimes”, which include “terrorism” and “preparation to commit terrorism through preparing a murder.”

“Of course, we need to take what he’s saying a little bit carefully given the background of the conclusions of the forensic psychiatrists’ investigation.”

A court ruled on Tuesday that the man could remain in pre-trial detention until September 15th.

Swedish vocab: brottsmisstankar – suspected crimes