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

IS ruling, Sweden in Madrid, and new rules for foreign-born women: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Health minister Lena Hallengren, migration minister Anders Ygeman and labour minister Eva Nordmark announce the new proposals to get foreign-born women into work. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden and Finland to attend Madrid Nato summit

Sweden and Finland, which have applied to join Nato, will attend the transatlantic alliance’s summit in Madrid next month, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday.

“Of course,” Sanchez replied, when asked at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, if the two nations would send delegations to the June 28-30 gathering.

“They are big democracies, very well established and consolidated democracies, and I think it is also very important for Nato and the European Union to have them on board as Nato allies,” he added.

Spain will speed up its parliamentary procedure to give its backing for the entry of the two nations in the alliance, the prime minister said.

Swedish Vocab: Natos toppmöte – Nato’s summit

Football fans auction Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s nose on eBay

Anonymous football fans are auctioning three copies of Zlatan’s amputated nose on auction site eBay, stating on their website, (“where is the”) that the aim of the initiative is to “draw attention to the problems in Swedish and international football”. Read our explainer here

Swedish Vocab: en avgjutning – a cast

Court to rule on brothers who went to join Islamic State

A court in Gothenburg is to rule today on two brothers who travelled Syria to fight for the Islamic State (IS) terror group. The two men, both in their 40s, were arrested in February at Gothenburg’s Landvetter Airport. 

Chat material is being used to try and prove that the two men wanted to join IS and work for the terror group. If they are found guilty, they will be the first to be jailed under Sweden’s resandebrott, or travel crime law. 

Swedish vocab: resandebrott – travel crime 

Sweden proposes new laws to push foreign-born women into jobs

Sweden’s government has launched an investigation into measures that could push foreign-born women into the labour market. 

Among other measures, the government wants to change the so-called “introduction benefit”, or etableringsersättning, that people newly arrived in Sweden receive while they are looking for work. At present, this is given to each household, but the government now wants to divide it between each parent so that women have an incentive to look for work on arrival in Sweden. 

“We should not have incentives which lock women in the home and cement old gender roles,” said employment minister Eva Nordmark at a press conference. 

The government will also create an “activity duty” for those on benefits, and bring in more family planning measures to prevent women having children that the parents are not able to support without benefits.   

Swedish vocab: att försörja – to support 

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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