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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 Thursday

Asylum return centres, interest rate hike, Biden's Switzerland gaffe: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden’s government proposes asylum return centres near airports

Sweden’s government has launched an inquiry into how to set up so-called “return centres” for rejected asylum seekers, which would increase the share who are promptly returned to their home countries.

The new return centres would be built close to airports in Sweden, enabling those ordered to return to their home countries to be rapidly and efficiently put on planes. 

“Establishing a return centres will make it possible to send a clear signal that the asylum process has been completed and that from that point on return will be the main focus,” Sweden’s immigration minister Anders Ygeman said at a press conference on Thursday. 

Swedish Vocab: ett avslag – a rejection

Sweden’s central bank brings in biggest rate hike in 22 years

Sweden’s Riksbank has raised interest rates by 50 points to 0.75 percent, in its biggest rate hike in 22 years.

The bank said it was now predicting that its key interest rate would rise to 1.36 percent in the last three months of 2022, up from the 0.81 percent it predicted at the end of April. 

Between the start of April and the end of June next year, it will rise to 1.9 percent (up for 1.18 predicted in April), and in the last six months of 2025, the rate will hit 2.06 percent, it said.

Swedish Vocab: en räntehöjning – an interest rate rise

Erdogan: Sweden has promised to extradite 73 people. 

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claimed at a press conference at the end of the Nato meeting in Madrid that Sweden had promised to extradite 73 people Turkey suspects of being terrorists to Turkey. 

“We want to strongly emphasise the message that we expect straightforward solidarity from our allies, not just words but also actions,” he said. 

Turkey’s justice minister, Bekir Bozdag, told Turkey’s NTV broadcaster on Wednesday that Sweden had promised to extradite 21 people to Turkey. 

Swedish vocab: att utlämna – to extradite 

Sweden insists on judicial independence in Turkey extradition decisions

Sweden insisted on Thursday that any decisions regarding the possible extradition of alleged Kurdish militants and coup plot suspects to Turkey would be made by “independent courts”.

“In Sweden, Swedish law is applied by independent courts. Swedish citizens are not extradited. Non-Swedish citizens can be extradited at the request of other countries, but only if it is compatible with Swedish law and the European Convention,” Justice Minister Morgan Johansson said in a written statement to AFP.

On Wednesday, Turkey had said it would seek the extradition of alleged Kurdish militants and coup plot suspects from Sweden and Finland under a deal to secure Ankara’s support for the Nordic countries’ NATO membership bids.

Swedish Vocab: oberoende domstolar – independent courts 

US President Biden mixes up Sweden and Switzerland at Nato summit

Joe Biden on Thursday said that Switzerland would be joining Nato, mixing the Alpine country up with Sweden in a press conference at the transatlantic alliance’s summit in Madrid on Thursday. The US president immediately corrected himself, making a joke of his gaffe. 

“We’ve invited two new members to join Nato. It was a historic act,” he told reporters, before relating an earlier phone call with the president of Finland.

He said: “We got on the telephone, he suggested we call the leader of, Switzerland – Switzerland, my goodness – I’m getting really anxious here about expanding Nato, of Sweden.”

Swedish vocab: en felsägning – a slip of the tongue