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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

House prices, Swedish Ukraine fighter, and free public transport for the young: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Sweden's prime minister Magdalena Andersson (l) and Social Democrat party secretary Tobias Baudin (r) play a fairground game at Skara Sommarland. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

House prices continue to fall in July 

House prices continued to fall in Sweden in July, with flats and detached houses down 12 percent in Stockholm compared to last year’s peak. The price for detached houses fell in all regions in July compared to the preceding month, with the biggest falls seen in central Sweden where prices fell 6.6 percent, followed by the northern areas of the country, where prices fell over five percent. In Malmö, the price of detached houses fell by four percent. 

Swedish vocab: att rasa – to plummet

Swedish fighter charged in Russian-occupied Donetsk

A Swedish man who fought on the Ukrainian side in the fight for the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol has been charged by the authorities in Russian-occupied Donetsk for fighting as a mercenary. 

The charges were reported by the Russian state-controlled newswire Tass, and confirmed by Sweden’s foreign ministry. 

“We have this information about a Swedish citizen who is currently being denied his freedom and we are working to get some clarity about this,” the ministry’s press service told TT. “We are not currently ready to provide any more detailed information than this. 

Swedish vocab: frihetsberövad – imprisoned/deprived of liberty

Social Democrats pledge free summer transport for youth 

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats have proposed that students at upper secondary school and in higher education should be able to travel for free on public transport between the start of June and the end of August, in a new pledge issued ahead of this September’s general election. 

The party is proposing that central government allot funds to regional and municipal transport organisations to pay for the free travel, and argues that the policy will help young people integrate into society, get their first jobs and enjoy activities over the summer, and will also help push them towards more climate-friendly travel alternatives. 

The Social Democrats’ party secretary Tobias Baudin said that the measure would cost “over a billion kronor a year”. 

Swedish vocab: ett vallöfte – an election pledge

Four charged for explosion attack outside Malmö  

Two men and two women have been charged for ‘causing destruction which is a danger to the public’, after setting off an explosive device in a suburban area of detached houses in Bjuv, outside Malmö. According to the prosecutor, the four people aimed to warn a potential witness not to testify in an ongoing court case. 

Swedish vocab: ödeläggelse – destruction

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Russian tourist ban, pandemic slashed consumption emissions, and bomb shelters 'functional': find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Majority in Swedish parliament wants to ban Russian tourists

Parties representing a majority of MPs in Sweden’s parliament want to follow Finland’s example and ban Russian tourists, according to commercial broadcaster TV4. 

At midnight on Thursday, Finland closed its borders completely for Russian citizens with tourist visas, and now five out of eight parties in the Swedish parliament want to take the same decision. 

Only the Moderates and the Social Democrats, who together hold 170 of the parliament’s seats are currently opposed to a halt to the issuing of tourist visas to Russian citizens. The Moderates want to wait for a common EU decision, while the Social Democrats want to leave the decision to the incoming government. 

So far this year, Sweden’s Migration Agency has taken in 2,300 applications from Russians seeking visas. 

Swedish vocab: ett totalstopp – an absolute halt 

Swedish per capita consumption-based emissions dropped by a tonne in pandemic

Sweden’s consumption-based emissions fell by 12 percent in 2020, compared to the preceding year, chiefly as a result of people stopping flying abroad for holidays and work, according to new data from Statistics Sweden.

“The biggest reduction happened within household transport, which fell by 23 percent. That can be explained by a reduction in flights and personal transport as a result of the pandemic,” said Nils Brown, an investigator for the agency, in a statement. 

Consumption-based emissions also fell for housing, clothes and shoes, but were unchanged for food and groceries. 

Swedish vocab: växthusgaser – greenhouse gases

Swedish bomb shelters ‘in functional condition’: Civil Contingencies Agency

After carrying out thousands of checks this year, Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency has concluded that most of the bomb shelters in Sweden are in a ‘functional condition’, with most having only minor shortcomings which can be easily righted. 

“We have done a few thousand inspections on our own initiative, but we have also seen that property owners have themselves done many inspections of their own bomb shelters, with the help of specialists,” Lars Gråbergs, from the agency, told TT newswire.

The government in May 2021 ordered the agency to assess the capacity and condition of Sweden’s bomb shelters, and how evacuation and housing would be handled in the event of a military attack. The agency is due to report on November 7th.

Swedish vocab: vid väpnat angrepp – in the event of an armed/military attack

Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a sizeable drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday following its decision to leave the Russian market.

The world’s number two clothing group is among a slew of Western companies that have exited Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

H&M paused all sales in the country in March and announced in July that it would wind down operations, although it would reopen stores for “a limited period of time” to offload its remaining inventory.

The company said Thursday its net profit fell to 531 million kronor ($47 million) in the third quarter, down 89 percent from the same period last year. “The third quarter has largely been impacted by our decision to pause sales and then wind down the business in Russia,” chief executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: en avveckling – a wind down

Sweden detects fourth leak at Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea

A fourth leak has been detected in undersea pipelines running from Russia to Europe, the Swedish Coast Guard said on Thursday, after pipeline explosions were detected earlier this week in the Danish and Swedish economic zones, in suspected sabotage.

“There are two leaks on the Swedish side and two leaks on the Danish side,” a Swedish Coast Guard official said, after three leaks were confirmed earlier this week on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

The official added that the two leaks on the Swedish side are “close to each other”.

The Swedish coast guard could not immediately say why the latest leak only appeared days after the initial breaches.

Media reported that the latest leak was detected at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the coast guard did not confirm this.

Sweden had previously reported a leak on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline northeast of Bornholm, while Denmark has confirmed a leak on Nord Stream 2 to the southeast of the island, and another to the northeast above Nord Stream 1.

Swedish vocab: Kustbevakningen – the Swedish Coast Guard

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