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

PM threatens to resign, fires in Trollhättan and missiles to Ukraine. Here's what's happening in Sweden on Friday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A firefighter works to extinguish a fire in Trollhättan on Thursday night. Photo: Joachim Nywall/TT

Swedish PM threatens to resign if opposition push out justice minister

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has threatened to resign if the opposition succeeds in its vote of no confidence in the country’s justice minister.

The Moderate, Christian Democrat, and Liberal Parties on Thursday said they would back a no-confidence vote against Morgan Johansson, Sweden’s Justice Minister, called by the populist Sweden Democrats.

“We’ve got to the point that the single most important measure in crime politics is to send Morgan Johansson into early retirement,” said Henrik Vinge, the Sweden Democrats’ group leader in parliament, as the party announced the call. If the Centre Party decides to back the measure, Johansson will be removed from his position.

Magdalena Andersson came out fighting on Thursday evening, condemning Ulf Kristersson, leader of the opposition Moderate Party, for backing what she said was an irresponsible political stunt, and pledging to resign if the no-confidence vote succeeded.

“It’s horrifically irresponsible,” she said at a press conference on what she described as “the latest gambit from the Sweden Democrats and the Moderates”.

Swedish vocab: misstroendeförklaring – vote of no confidence

Fires in Trollhätten – police suspect ‘coordinated action’

Multiple fires broke out in Trollhätten, north of Gothenburg, on Thursday night. A multi-storey car park, an abandoned terraced house and almost 20 cars were set alight.

Police suspect that the fires were started as part of a coordinated action, but no one has been arrested and there are no suspects.

“The alarm was raised at 10:30pm and the fires were slightly spread out, but quite close to each other, which makes us think it could be a coordinated action, but we don’t want to speculate on what has happened,” Göran Carlbom, officer for the western police region told TT newswire.

Despite the severity of the fires, no one has been injured.

“The terraced house turned out to be a building scheduled for demolition, so rescue services let that burn down, but some apartments near the multi-storey car park have been evacuated due to smoke,” Carlbom told TT.

By 1am on Friday, the fires had almost completely been extinguished, but shortly afterwards police received reports of three cars which had been set alight in a residential area.

“We don’t know if [the fires] are related, it’s too early to say,” Carlbom told TT.

The areas in question will be closed off for technical investigations, and fire services were still on the scene at 1am.

“There’s no risk of the fire spreading, but we’re still here to ensure everything remains safe,” Mona Hedhman, on-duty officer at the Trollhätten fire service told TT.

Swedish vocab: mordbrand – arson

Sweden sends anti-ship and anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

Sweden announced additional aid of one billion kronor ($102 million, €95 million) to Ukraine on Thursday, consisting of both financial aid and military equipment including anti-ship missiles and anti-tank launchers.

“We are now seeing a new phase in the Russian invasion, where (Russia) is gathering strength in eastern and southeastern Ukraine and the Ukrainian side has requested help in several areas,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told reporters at a joint press conference with Finance Minister Mikael Damberg.

Damberg said the country would contribute 578 million kronor to the Ukrainian central bank’s fund for its armed forces, 60 million kronor to Nato’s fund to help Ukraine’s armed forces, and military equipment worth 262 million kronor.

In addition, Sweden will contribute 100 million kronor for civilian efforts through the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

According to a press release, the military material consists of Sweden’s anti-ship missile system Robot 17, which is a modified version of the US Hellfire missile system, as well as 5,000 anti-tank launchers and AG 90 assault rifles and ammunition.

“This is qualified equipment in line with what Ukraine has requested”, Hultqvist said.

Swedish vocab: robot – missile, sjömålsrobot – anti-ship missile

New study: Fourth dose increases protection ‘greatly’

A new study from the Public Health Agency shows that protection against Covid-19 has increased markedly among those aged 65 or over who have had a fourth vaccine dose against the virus.

According to the study, the protective effects against serious illness or death increase to over 90 percent following the fourth dose of the vaccine.

International studies have shown that protection afforded by the vaccine decreases over time and that booster doses are necessary to retain a high level of protection against the virus, especially in risk groups.

The Public Health Agency’s study shows that a fourth dose of the virus protects against infection by 65 percent, with protection against intensive care or death increasing to 90 percent.

Swedish vocab: påfyllnadsdos – booster dose

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For members


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

ADHD tests for immigrant kids, Turk deported, train problems, and ISA tax proposal, find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

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

Moderates propose ADHD tests for all kids in vulnerable areas

The Moderate Party in Stockholm wants to rapid test all children in “vulnerable areas” for ADHD so that more can get diagnosed and given medication. 

The party stresses that the tests would be voluntary and would be carried out at primary care centres from the age of five onwards. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background are less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden, and that there is a link between childhood ADHD and violent crime later in life. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” said the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

Sweden extradites first Turk since striking Nato deal

Sweden’s government said on Thursday that it would hand over a Turkish citizen convicted of credit card fraud to Ankara, the first known extradition since Sweden struck a deal with Turkey promising to deal with extraditions “expeditiously and thoroughly”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to block both Sweden and Finland from NATO membership unless they meet several demands, including the extradition of people Ankara considers “terrorists”.

Erdogan accuses the two countries of being havens for Kurdish militants, specifically highlighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The man facing extradition was identified in Swedish court documents as Okan Kale, and was convicted in Turkey of credit card fraud in 2013 and 2016.

Swedish vocab: att utlämna – to deport 

Train problems to continue into autumn 

The Swedish Transport Administration is still facing problems with its new time table system, which, in combination with track work, will mean continuing train delays into the autumn,” Sweden’s state broadcaster SR has reported. 

The administration is supposed to draw up a plan on how trains should travel when there is track work 18 weeks in advance, but it is currently only able to do so two to four weeks in advance, which is making it difficult for train companies to sell train tickets. 

“This is something we are of course working intensively to improve,” Mikael Eriksson, the agency’s marketing chief, said, adding that most trains were not impacted by the track work, and that the planning system should be working properly by the end of the year. 

Swedish vocab: framförhållning – long-term planning 

Centre Party wants to remove tax from savings accounts

Sweden’s Centre Party has proposed scrapping tax on the first 30,000 kronor held by people in Sweden in Individual Savings Accounts, in order to encourage saving among Swedes, 

“A lot of people have only a small amount of extra money,” she says. “It would be simple to start saving and we want to especially benefit small savers, those who save a few hundred kronor every month for their pension, or a first apartment, or to build up a buffer for the future.” 

Swedish vocab: en buffert – a buffer