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

Ban on pre-paid sims, ID-controls could be extended, and a 50 percent cap on 'non-Nordic citizens': find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Photo: Magnus Andersson/TT

Minister: No more than 50 percent non-Nordic citizens in ‘vulnerable areas’

Immigration Minister Anders Ygeman has suggested that Sweden follow Denmark and seek to limit the concentration of people with immigrant backgrounds in the most troubled areas of its cities. 

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Ygeman said that it was a problem for Sweden that there are districts where a majority of inhabitants come from outside the Nordic countries. 

“I think it’s bad to have areas where the majority have a non-Nordic origin,” he said in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

“If you want to learn Swedish, you need to practice. If you live in an area where you can get by with the language of your home country, it becomes hugely more difficult to learn and develop the language. If, in addition, you have a job where you can get by in the language of your homeland, where are you going to practice Swedish? In that context, I think having this sort of goal can say something important.” 

Ygeman suggested a 50 percent limit when pushed by the newspaper’s reporters on whether he thought Sweden should bring in a similar target to that of Denmark, where the ruling Social Democrats have brought in a target that no housing development in the country should have more than 30 percent of the population with a non-Western background by 2030.

“That’s just a starting point. If we’re going to impose that number [as a target] for real, then we need to carry out an inquiry and think about it. But if you want to have my “hunch”, I’d put the number there.”

Swedish vocab: utomnordiskt ursprung – non-Nordic origin

Sweden to ban unregistered pre-paid mobile phones

Pre-paid SIM cards, known in Swedish as kontantkort or cash cards will soon require registration with information including the owner’s name and personal identity number (personnummer), broadcaster SVT has reported.

The new rules could present difficulties for people without a personnummer, such as foreign nationals who have recently moved to Sweden, since a personal identity number is needed to set up a phone contract.

Sweden is changing its laws around pre-paid SIM cards because the anonymous nature of unregistered phones makes the work of law enforcement agencies more difficult, SVT wrote.

“[The new rules] make it more difficult for criminals and easier for the police and other law enforcement agencies,” Fredrik Joelsson, of the police fraud unit in Västerås and operational analyst for the police in Region Mitt, told SVT.

Swedish vocab: oregistrerade kontantkort – pre-paid sim cards (literally “unregistered cash cards”)

ID controls into Sweden could be extended despite criticism

Sweden’s government is considering extending the ID controls imposed on ferries travelling to Sweden from abroad to control the flow of refugees from Ukraine. 

The controls were brought in on March 28th and are set to expire on September 1st. 

Sweden’s infrastructure minister Tomas Eneroth told Sweden’s TT news wire that he believed the controls had probably prevented people smuggling into Sweden, and argued that shipping companies, just like airlines, should have good control over who their passengers are. 

But he said he would listen to the arguments from ferry operators before deciding to extend the controls. 

“I will listen to the points in the responses and come back with a decision shortly,” he said. “At the same time, it’s been important for us, not least for security reasons, to highlight this fundamental principle: we should know who is on board.” 

Anders Hermansson, chief executive of the Swedish Shipowners Association, said: “We find it hard to see that there’s a need for this from the perspective of marine security. If the government sees other reasons to do it, it should use another part of the law.”

Swedish vocab: människohandel – people smuggling 

Stockholm Arlanda airport sees 10,000 delayed flights this summer

As many as 10,000 departures from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport have been delayed so far this summer, according to new data.

Arlanda, which is run by state-owned operator Swedavia, has seen extensive queuing and delays throughout the summer.

Staff shortages and a major pilots’ strike by Scandinavian airline SAS, resolved earlier this month, are among major factors to have caused disruption at Arlanda.

The 10,000 cancellations were described as a “weak number” by Norwegian aviation expert Hans Jørgen Elnäs in comments to Sveriges Radio’s news programme Ekot, which reported the figure.

Swedish vocab: försenade – delayed 

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For members


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

Right-wing parties back Norlén, gangs 'recruited children over summer', passport queues, and Södermalm explosion: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The four parties backing Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Sunday announced that they have agreed to vote on Monday to keep the current Speaker, Andreas Norlén in place. They have also agreed that the Sweden Democrats will hold eight out of the 16 chairmanships the bloc has of parliamentary committees. 

In a joint press release, the parties said that Norlén had under the last four years shown that he has “the necessary personal qualities and qualifications which the role requires”. 

The decision was praised by Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson, who said that Norlén had “managed his responsibilities well over the past four years and been a good representative of Sweden’s Riksdag.” 

Under the agreement, the right-wing parties have also nominated Julia Kronlid as the second deputy Speaker, a decision that was opposed by the Left Party, who accused Kronlid of wanting to tighten abortion laws.  

Swedish vocab: erforderlig – required/necessary

Police fear more children recruited to gangs over summer 

Police have warned that gangs in Sweden have been recruiting school children when they are free during the summer months, with officers fearing that these children will then be put to use in their networks in the autumn. 

“I am extremely worried that this is going to continue,” said Carin Götblad, senior police at the Swedish police’s National Operative Division NOA. 

Swedish vocab: oro – worry 

Pandemic effect means a two-month wait for a passport in Sweden 

It is still taking at least two months to renew a passport in Sweden, with police hoping to get waiting times down to normal by December. 

According to Per Engström, the police officer brought in to lead the police’s crisis response to the situation, the police had so far offered three million passport application visits, compared to two million in a normal year. 

He said that in future, the passport office would send sms reminders to people whose passports are about to expire to avoid such a rush in the months leading up to the summer. 

Most regions can now offer passport application appointments without unusual delays, with the exception of Eastern Sweden and Bergslagen, where there are no appointments for seven to eight weeks. What is causing the delay elsewhere is the time taken to print and deliver the documents. 

Swedish vocab: väntetider – waiting times

Major explosion in Södermalm, Stockholm, on Friday night 

Many of the 20 people evacuated after an explosion in an apartment building in the trendy Stockholm district of Södermalm were allowed to return home on Sunday. 

The explosion took place in the stairwell of the building, and one person was taken in to be interviewed by police and then released. There is currently no suspect for the blast. 

Police are considering whether the attack is connected to one which took place in Huvudsta in Solna on Thursday evening. 

Swedish vocab: en koppling – a connection