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

SD hate crime, the march for Adriana, student loans and a new Moderate fuel tax pledge: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Sweden's justice minister Morgan Johansson at the 'flower procession for Adriana' march. Photo: Robin Bäckman /TT

Sweden Democrat politician charged for praising Hitler

A politician for the populist Sweden Democrat party has been charged with hate crimes after his social media account posted a picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and compared black people to monkeys.

Mikael Lundin, the deputy chair of the Sweden Democrats in the city of Östersund in northwest Sweden, was charged with hate crimes after the organisation Näthatsgranskaren (the internet hate investigator), reported him to the police for a series of posts made by his profile on the Russian social media group VK.

The posts included a series of pictures praising Hitler, including one with the words “our oath: all for Germany”, and one comparing black people with apes, according to the prosecutor in the case.

He also in 2017 posted a picture that called for Sweden’s then Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven to be assassinated.

Lundin denies making the posts, claiming that someone in his household may have been using his account.

“I cannot give away that much now, but a lot of things are going to come out during the court case,” he told the anti-extremist website Expo. “It may be that someone has logged into my account and posted stuff up there.”

Swedish Vocab: en Hitler-hyllning – a tribute to Hitler 

Top politicians join march for murdered 12-year-old

Leading politicians from at least five of Sweden’s political parties on Tuesday night joined a march marking the shooting of 12-year-old ‘Adriana’ in the Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka in 2020. 

Sweden’s Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, Moderate Party group leader Tobias Billström, Green Party leader Märta Stenevi, Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, and Liberal leader Johan Pehrson, all joined the march, indicating the importance of the issue of gang crime in this year’s election campaign. 

Adriana was out walking her dog when she was caught in the crossfire of a gang conflict. 

Swedish vocab: skjutvapenvåld – gun violence 

Student loans in Sweden much higher next year 

CSN, Sweden’s student loans authority, has told TT that the hike in the interest rates it charges in the New Year could be significantly higher than previously expected, due to rising base interest rates and a government. 

According to the agency, the interest rate it charges, which was a historically low zero this year, could rise to 0.64 percent next year, meaning a former student with an average loan of 166,000 kronor could be paying some 1,000 kronor a year. 

As well as the Riksbank central rate, Sweden’s government also intends to make CSN foot the bill for loans that go unpaid, whereas until now the costs of bad debts have been borne by the state budget, with a decision taken in the coming budget this autumn. 

Swedish vocab: en höjning – a rise

Moderates call for suspension of fuel tax inflation link 

Sweden’s opposition Moderate Party has called for a temporary suspension in the linkage between petrol and diesel tax with Sweden’s consumer price index, or KPI, in a new election pledge. 

Under current rules, the amount of tax levied on petrol and diesel is pegged to the index, meaning that the taxation rate on fuel rises at the same rate as prices of other consumer goods. However, the party believes that after a year of high consumer price inflation, the link should be suspended to help consumers handle rising costs. 

“To take the whole of this year’s surge in prices and bring it into next year will be extremely expensive, and even more expensive for people who are dependent on their cars,” Niklas Wykman, the party’s tax policy spokesperson, told TT, estimating that if the Moderates’ proposal is brought in, a normal family would save 500 to 1,000 kronor in tax over the year. 

Swedish vocab: beroende – dependent 

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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