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

Midday strike deadline, falling property, and PM's Almedalen speech: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Norwegian state mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland meets the press outside the talks in Stockholm on Saturday. Photo: Chris Anderson/TT

SAS unions to call strike at midday if no deal is reached 

Scandinavian airline SAS has until midday on Monday to reach an agreement with pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, if it wants to avoid a strike that could see as many as 30,000 passengers stranded each day. 

Talks were extended over the weekend, after a deadline of midnight on Friday was reached without a deal. 

On Sunday, Jan Levi Skogvang, head of SAS’s Norwegian pilot union, said that there had at least been progress. 

“We are working at a good tempo, so there’s at least some movement and good will on both sides,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that there’s agreement on everything. There are a still a lot of points that need to get solved.” 

SAS’s negotiations chief said that the two sides still “stand a lot way from one another”.

Swedish Vocab: en tidsfrist – a deadline 

Swedish PM makes nationalist speech at Almedalen festival

Swedish Prime Minister Sweden’s prime minister went all out with a strongly nationalist message in her speech at the Almedalen political festival, presenting the Social Democrats as defenders of Swedish values the right-wing parties seek to destroy.

“I love Sweden and I’m proud to be Swedish,” she declared, while acknowledging that it was unusual in Sweden to express your love for your country, in such a bold, heart-on-sleeve, way. 

It wasn’t just the country she loved, she went on, but its values, of “thoroughness, duty, and common sense”, of equality, the rule of law, and social trust. 

“We are a country where men take child leave and look after children, a country where women work, and can become prime minister,” she said, to a loud round of applause. 

She then painted a grim picture of the country’s future, “if the right-wing conservative parties get to rule”. 

“Sweden will become something different,” she said. “A Sweden where one group is set against another, one person against another. A country where social divisions grow and polarisation increases, where the number of luxury yachts rises but the number of school counsellors falls, where trust is eroded, both for one another and for society.” 

“The right-wing conservatives say they want to preserve our country, but in reality,” she warned, “they want to attack exactly those things we love about Sweden.”

Swedish Vocab: noggrannheten – thoroughness, accuracy

Property prices fall in June across Sweden 

The price of detached houses and apartments fell across Sweden in June, extending the falls seen in May. According to the HPI housing index put together by the state-owned mortgage lender SBAB and the Booli property website, the prices in the north of Sweden falling 5.3 percent, in greater Gothenburg 4.3 percent and in greater Stockholm 4.2 percent.
Swedish Vocab: i samtliga regioner – in all regions

Sweden refuses to deny deportations to Turkey as part of Nato deal

On Sunday Sweden’s Prime Minister refused to deny Turkey’s claim that it had promised to deport individuals as part of Stockholm’s efforts to join Nato.

Despite questioning by journalists and concerns among Kurdish and Turkish refugees in Sweden, Andersson would not say whether such a commitment had been given to Ankara for it to lift objections to Sweden’s membership.

“I’ve been a minister for eight years and I never talked about what is said in the negotiation room,” she said. “(That) actually puts me in a bit of a difficult situation right now,” she added.

In an agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, the two Nordic countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests “expeditiously and thoroughly”.

No promise has been given to actually carry out the extraditions, and Finland and Sweden have since recalled that the process is in the hands of the authorities and independent courts.

Swedish Vocab: i förhandlingsrum – at the negotatiating table 

Swedish PM pledges to ban profit making at free schools

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has pledged to stop companies withdrawing profits from schools, in what is likely to be one of the Social Democrats’ main campaigning issues in the coming election campaign.

The proposal, one of three measures announced to “take back democratic control over the school system”, was launched on the first day of the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland.

Banning profits from schools is an obvious campaigning issue for the Social Democrats. The latest poll by Gothenburg University’s SOM Institute found that fully 67 percent of voters support such a ban.

The only issue is that the Centre Party, whose support the Social Democrats will need to form a government, is likely to block a future Social Democrat government from implementing it, something Andersson acknowledged

“What I know is that there’s a very strong support for this among the Swedish people, but not in the Swedish parliament,” she said. 

Read our story here

Swedish Vocab: ett kryphål – a loophole


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For members


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

A 'racist' tweet, welfare cap, and oil-fired power: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Magdalena Andersson ‘deserves to be sacked’

The Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch savaged Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson over her party’s failure to get violent crime under control in the first party leader debate since the summer. 

“She has no solutions and deserves to get the sack,” Busch said at the Expressen newspaper’s debate, which was broadcast online.

“Criminality threatens the country as we know it,” Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson added. “It’s not getting better but only worse and worse.” 

Andersson agreed that gang crime was a serious threat, but said that politicians should listen to the experts. 

“It’s clear that we should listen to the police who say that we need to end segregation to stop new recruitment [to gangs],” she said. 

Swedish vocab: att få sparken – to get the sack

‘Next stop Kabul’: Sweden Democrat slammed for ‘racist’ tweet 

The Sweden Democrat MP Tobias Andersson has been criticised for a “disgraceful and racist” tweet in which he posted a picture of a train on the Stockholm Metro which the party has paid to have covered in its logo. 

Calling the train the “return-migration train”, he wrote: “You have a one-way ticket. Next stop Kabul!”. 

The Centre Party’s leader Annie Lööf said that the tweet was “disgraceful and racist” while the Liberal Party’s leader Johan Pehrson, who is hoping to join a government with Swedish Democrat support, said it was “tragic” and that Andersson “should be ashamed”. 

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson denied that the tweet was racist. 

“Return migration policies are not racist,” he said. “Our return migration policies are built on being voluntary. It is a way of creating a better society for us and for those who have not found their place here.” 

Swedish vocab: ovärdigt – disgraceful

Moderates pledge to stop unemployment payments after a year 

Sweden’s Moderate Party has called for A-kassa, Sweden’s system of subsidised unemployment insurance, to be limited to one year in a move aimed at speeding the return to work of those who have lost their jobs. 

The party is also proposing a welfare cap, which will mean that the total amount of benefits someone on the state emergency unemployment benefit can receive cannot be more than 75 percent of an average starting salary (which today would be about 22,000 kronor per month). 

“This is about breaking passivity by strengthening demands. We expect a lot of both people who are born here, and people who have come to Sweden,” said the party’s finance spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson.

Swedish vocab: att bryta passiviteten – to break up the passivity 

High power prices push Sweden to fire up oil-fired power plant 

Uniper Energy has been firing up the oil-fired Karlshamnsverket power plant for much of the last week to meet high demand and benefit from record-high power prices in southern Sweden, the company has told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper. 

“We’ve been running pretty regularly over the past week. This is today with the shortage of planned power production we have in southern Sweden today,” Torbjörn Larsson, the company’s press chief, told the newspaper. 

The power station burns 70,000 litres of oil every hour. 

Swedish vocab: brist – shortage 

Man behind stabbing at Swedish political festival admits to terror crimes

Forensic psychiatrists have diagnosed the 33-year-old as severely mentally disturbed, both at the time of his attack on Ing-Marie Wieselgren, and when they carried out their assessment.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor Henrik Olin said that Engström was “ready to take on responsibility for these suspected crimes”, which include “terrorism” and “preparation to commit terrorism through preparing a murder.”

“Of course, we need to take what he’s saying a little bit carefully given the background of the conclusions of the forensic psychiatrists’ investigation.”

A court ruled on Tuesday that the man could remain in pre-trial detention until September 15th.

Swedish vocab: brottsmisstankar – suspected crimes