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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

More ID checks for foreigners, SAS shares plummet and MPs pose with Kurdish terror group flag. Find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup on Wednesday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
PKK supporters demonstrate against Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and demand the release of the PKK's leader. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

SAS shares plummet in Stockholm after US bankruptcy proceedings 

Shares in the troubled Scandinavian airline SAS fell 10 percent in Stockholm after it announced that it would start bankruptcy proceedings in the US. 

“We simply need to do much more and do it much faster,” SAS chairman Carsten Dilling told a press conference where he  defended what he called “a well thought-through decision.”

In the US, Chapter 11 is a mechanism allowing a company to restructure its debts under court supervision while continuing to operate.

The move was made in order “to proceed with the implementation of key elements” of its business transformation plan, the troubled carrier, which employs nearly 7,000 people, said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: ett rekonstruktionsförfarande – a reconstruction process

Sweden to boost stop-and-search of immigrants in Sweden 
 
Sweden’s police and coastguards are to be given powers to search people for passports and other ID if they refuse to voluntarily help verify that they have the right to live or work in Sweden. 
 
“The ability to carry out body searches is critical if we are going to be able to identify foreigners who do not voluntarily agree to demonstrate that they have the right to be in the country,” she said. 
 
– Möjlighet till kroppsvisitering är avgörande för att kunna identifiera en utlänning som inte frivilligt medverkar till att klarlägga om han eller hon har rätt att vistas i landet. Givetvis kommer det att krävas en grundad misstanke för att visitera människor, säger Andersson.

Swedish vocab: kroppsvisitering – a physical body search  

Nato begins ratification process for Swedish membership 

Nato on Tuesday kicked off momentous accession procedures for Sweden and Finland, aiming to expand the military alliance to 32 countries in reaction to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

But the alliance has no current plans to send troops to Sweden and Finland once they complete the membership process
, the defensive alliance’s deputy chief told AFP on Tuesday.

“We don’t plan to have an additional presence in either country, they have formidable national forces. They’re capable of defending themselves,” Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said in a telephone interview.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that “if military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us”.

Geoana said that “we don’t plan to have Nato bases in these two countries, because they have a very high level of military and strategic maturity”.

After the accession process was launched Tuesday, it is up to parliaments in all 30 member states to ratify Oslo and Helsinki’s membership of the Atlantic alliance.

Denmark and Canada ratify Swedish Nato membership 

Denmark and Canada both ratified Sweden and Finland’s membership on Tuesday, just hours after the ratification process was launched. 

“I’m proud that Denmark has hit our goals of welcoming Finland and Sweden into Nato as fast as we have,” said Denmark’s foreign minister Jeppe Kofod. 

“We are stronger together,” Canadian foreign minister, Mélanie Joly, wrote on Twitter. 

Norway’s foreign minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, has signed the protocol after it was approved in advance by the country’s parliament, and it will be submitted to Nato on Wednesday.

Estonia’s Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, is calling in her country’s parliament to ratify the protocol on Wednesday. 

Swedish vocab: att skriva under – to sign  

Left Party MPs pose with flag of Kurdish party classed as terror organisation

Nooshi Dadgostar, the leader of Sweden’s Left Party, posed for photos on Tuesday while waving the flag of the PKK, the Kurdish group classed as a terror organisation by the US and EU, as well as by Sweden. 

The Left Party MPS Daniel Riazat, Momodou Malcolm Jallow and Lorena Delgado Varas held up the flag for a photo that was then published in the Aftonbladet newspaper. 

“We are not backing down over this,” said Lorena Delgado Varas to the newspaper. “These are organisations that are resistance movements, which have a democrat organisation, a feminist organisation, in a context where Turkey is a dictatorship.” 

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Covid hits hospitals, storms in Western Sweden, and Social Democrats launch campaign: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Covid resurgence putting hospitals under pressure

Hospitals are under pressure in many areas of Sweden after a resurgence in Covid-19 infections coincides with the summer holiday months, the Public Health Agency has said in press conference. 

“There are more patients in hospital both with and being treated for Covid-19 than in past summers, which is affecting healthcare now during the holiday season,” Sara Byfors, a unit chief at the agency said on Thursday. “This also means that a lot of people who work in healthcare and who are sick need to stay home.” 

Infection rates have risen significantly in recent weeks, with 5,200 cases a week in the two weeks leading up to July 24th, compared to 1,000 cases in the first week of June, but Byfors stressed that there were still far fewer patients being treated for Covid-19 than in previous peaks of infection, with 13 Covid deaths on the worst day this June, compared to a peak of 121 deaths a day in the first Covid-19 wave in 2020. 

Swedish Vocab: ett dödsfall – a death 

Storms tear off roofs and blow down trees in western Sweden 

On Thursday evening, storms and heavy rain hit much of Sweden, with rescue services reporting roofs being blown off and trees blown over in Töreboda in the Västergötland region near Gothenburg. According to rescue services, the storm has weakened as it moved to the East. 

“It was at its worst in the evening. If we look later on in the night, we can see that it has calmed down somewhat, when we talk about lightning in any case. There are still some powerful downpours here and there,” said Ulrica Sievert, a meteorologist at state forecaster SMHI. 

SMHI has not removed the storm warnings it had up on its website yesterday. 

Swedish vocab: åskväder – thunderstorms

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats launch ‘presidential’ election campaign

The Social Democrats rolled out their election campaign on Thursday, focusing heavily on leader Magdalena Andersson, law and order, and jobs, and dropping the environment as a priority.

In a press conference held by party secretary Tobias Baudin, the ruling Social Democrats revealed their campaign posters for the upcoming election on September 11th.

Baudin also explained the Social Democrats’ goal for the upcoming election.

“Formally, our goal is to get a better result than last time, where we got 28.3%,” he said. “We’ve got good hopes of breaking that with a good margin. Our focus, and my focus, obviously, is to get as many votes as possible.”

“The more votes we get, the better chance we have of carrying out the policies we are going into the election with.”

He did, however, indicate that the party could be open to forming a coalition government following September’s election.

“Our goal is to form a Social Democrat government or a Social Democrat-led government after the election,” he said.

“We can work with all parties apart from the Sweden Democrats, but obviously those who are closest to us are the Greens, the Left Party and the Centre Party”.

Swedish Vocab: presidentvalskamp – a presidential election campaign 

Swedish opposition leader: ‘We are agreed enough on the big issues’

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson kicked off his party’s election campaign on Thursday, with a speech that presented himself as the only candidate backed by a coalition of parties with a common programme.

In a speech in front of four hundred Moderate party members in the city of Norrköping, Kristersson said that unlike ruling the Social Democrats, his party was backed by three other parties that were agreed on enough to get necessary reforms enacted in government.

“We have slowly but surely built a team on our side of politics which is ready and has both the will and the ability,” he said. “Four different parties which are not agreed on everything, but which are sufficiently agreed on the big issues to together get results.”

He reiterated the praise he had given to the populist Sweden Democrats party in his speech at the Almedalen political festival at the start of July.

“No other party has warned as consistently as the Sweden Democrats that Sweden cannot continue to increase immigration if we want to handle the problems with integration,” he said. “And that’s something I appreciate.”

Swedish vocab: de stora sakfrågorna – the big issues 

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