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

Surveillance cameras in slaughterhouses, continued Nato talks, another case of monkey pox and travel delays during the long Ascension weekend: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Arlanda Airport, Stockholm Terminal 5.
Arlanda Airport, Stockholm Terminal 5. Long queues at security control are expected over the Ascension weekend and travellers are advised to leave plenty of time when arriving at Arlanda airport. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

Long queues as people travel for Ascension long weekend

Anyone planning on flying from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport over the next few days, has been advised to arrive in plenty of time due to long queues at Sweden’s largest airport, Expressen reports.

“Right now in the morning, there are a lot of queues at the security check”, David Karlsson, press officer at Swedavia, told Expressen.

“There is fairly low basic staffing in the security control that makes it crowded at times,” he said.

There have been problems with large queues at Arlanda airport for a few months but it could get worse during this weekend when more people than usual choose to travel.

Swedish government considers surveillance cameras in slaughterhouses

The government will investigate the possibility of introducing camera surveillance in slaughterhouses in order to strengthen animal welfare, newswireTT reports.

Public inspections are already carried out at the slaughterhouses by vets and others to see that the rules are complied with but on Wednesday the government appointed a special investigator to analyse how the cameras could work, to strengthen animal welfare measures.

“Animal welfare is an important issue for consumers, therefore it is important that there is confidence in Swedish animal welfare in the entire chain, from the farm to the slaughterhouse”, Minister of Rural Affairs Anna-Caren Sätherberg told TT.

She said that surveillance cameras would improve authorities’ control of companies that run slaughterhouses and would compliment site inspections.

She added that physical inspections “can take many hours. This can be a way to make it more efficient.” 

Second case of monkey pox confirmed in Sweden

A second case of of monkey pox has been confirmed in Sweden, according to the Swedish Public Health Agency.

The person who has been confirmed as infected, is from Västra Götaland and is said to be well and is not being cared for in hospital.

The first case of monkey pox in Sweden was confirmed on Thursday last week.

“The current outbreak shows what appears to be a new route of transmission, which means that we are now building new knowledge. The recommendations will therefore be updated in connection with more information being added,” Sara Byfors, Head of Department at the Swedish Public Health Agency said.

Nato application talks between Sweden, Finland and Turkey ‘will continue’

Talks about Sweden and Finland’s Nato application, which took place in the Turkish capital Ankara yesterday, will continue, according to the Nordic delegations.

“It was agreed that the dialogue, conducted in a constructive spirit, will be continued,” Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote on social media.

On Wednesday, delegations from Sweden, Finland and Turkey were seen for a first meeting in Ankara, which lasted for about five hours,  AFP reported.

“During the meeting, Turkey reiterated its call {for Sweden} to end to all contacts with the PKK and other Turkish terrorist organisations,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin at a news conference.

“We conveyed in clear terms the message that the process will not move forward before Turkey’s concerns for security are taken into account through concrete steps, and within a certain time frame,” Kalin told AFP.

Turkey has opposed the applications of Sweden and neighbouring Finland, in particular Sweden, over what it considers leniency toward Kurdish militant groups in the Nordic countries.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Wednesday that Sweden does not fund or arm terrorist organisations, refuting Turkish claims.

Stockholm and Helsinki submitted their bids to join NATO last week, reversing decades of military non-alignment, after political and public support for membership soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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For members


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