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

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TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Independent MP Amineh Kakabaveh. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Deciding budget vote, gas supply warning and Sweden Democrats oust member over abuse comments. Here's Sweden's news on Wednesday.


Kakabaveh has deciding vote in today's budget vote

Sweden's parliament is due to vote on the second spring amendment budget today, and it's not yet clear whether the budget will be passed.

The budget includes a raise to pensions; the opposition Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Sweden Democrats are in favour of raising pensions, but are opposed to the details of the government’s proposal.

In order to pass their budget, the government needs the support of 175 MPs. They currently have the support of the governing Social Democrats, as well as the Left Party, Green Party and the Centre Party, a total of 174 MPs. This means that the final deciding vote will come from Amineh Kakabaveh, a political independent who was previously an MP for the Left Party.

Kakabaveh is Kurdish and has previously said she won't support the budget unless the government confirms they will not export weapons to Turkey. Finance Minister Mikael Damberg said last week that he has not negotiated with Kakabaveh. On Wednesday morning, Kakabaveh told public broadcaster SVT that she still hadn't made up her mind, and would decide on-the-spot whether to vote in favour of the budget or against.

If the budget vote is a tie, the parliamentary speaker will draw lots, meaning there will be a 50/50 chance of the opposition's or the government's budget winning.

Swedish vocabulary: politisk vilde - independent MP (literally: "politically savage" or "politically wild")


Sweden issues ‘early warning’ on Russian gas supply

The Swedish Energy Agency on Tuesday declared a first level "early warning" over fears that gas supplies may be impacted due to reductions in energy imports from Russia following the war in Ukraine.

The announcement, which concerned western Sweden, follows a similar declaration by Denmark on Monday evening.

“Sweden and Denmark have a common gas market and a joint balancing zone where the Danish supply situation is of great importance for the Swedish one,” the agency said in a statement.

“Therefore the Energy Agency in Sweden has decided to mirror Denmark’s decision on a crisis level,” it added. The European Union has established a system to allow member states to flag up impending energy supply difficulties using three ascending levels of alerts — beginning with “early warning”, followed by “alert”, then “emergency”.

The system allows for mutual assistance from other EU countries, but could also mean a start to rationing supplies.

Sweden’s Energy Agency meanwhile noted that “the supply situation of gas in Sweden is still robust,” and that stockpiles in Sweden, Denmark and Europe are “well stocked ahead of the autumn.”

Swedish vocabulary: Energimyndigheten - energy agency


Sweden Democrats move to oust local politician after abuse comments

In a debate on women's shelters and violence against women, a local politician from the far-right Sweden Democrats sparked outrage after asking "what has the woman done for a man to beat her?", before complaining about the lack of men's shelters.

Håkan Lerstorp, a municipal politician in Trelleborg, Skåne, opened his statement by saying “of course, it’s sad that women are abused”.

“But, my thought is, and I want you to think about this too sometimes: What has the woman done for a man to beat her? That’s an important thought,” Lerstorp continued.

Following the controversial comments, the populist opposition party Sweden Democrats moved to exclude the municipal politician from the party and distance themselves from the statement.

Party colleague Mathias Andersson, also taking part in the debate, immediately distanced himself and the party from Lerstorp’s comments.

“I can only apologise for what we just heard,” Andersson said. “It is not something my party believes. No matter what someone does, no one deserves to be hit, ever. Woman, man, child – no one deserves to be hit.”

Swedish vocabulary: kvinnovåld, våld mot kvinnor - violence against women


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