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

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TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Baltops military training with Swedish and US soldiers in Tofta military zone. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT

US approves Sweden's Nato application, increased interest in the army, and Volvo plans new battery plant. Here's Sweden's news on Thursday.


Swedish army sees increased interest among the young

A new report from Ungdomsbarometern shows that more and more young people believe Swedish defence should receive more funding, SVT reports.

In addition to this, the Swedish Armed Forces has reported an increase in interest among young people in carrying out military service.

"When I was eighteen, I was a bit scared of the military," 22-year-old Johannes Blom, who is carrying out military service at Livgardets Regement in northern Stockholm, told SVT.

"But it's grown on me in recent years."

Prior to the war in Ukraine, interest in carrying out military service decreased among the young, according to the Swedish Armed Forces. The reason is unclear, but it is clear that the downward trend was broken at the end of February.

One month later, in March, the amount of people interested in carrying out basic military training and military service had almost doubled, from 16 percent in February to 28 percent in March, according to figures from the Swedish Armed Forces.

Swedish vocabulary: värnplikt - military service


US approves Sweden's Nato application - seven countries remain

The US Senate approved Sweden and Finland's Nato applications with 95 votes to 1.

"It's very satisfying. It's only very positive for Sweden and shows confidence in both Sweden and Finland," Foreign Minister Ann Linde told TT newswire.

After a debate lasting over three hours, senators voted in favour of ratifying Sweden and Finland's applications to join the Nato defence alliance. The message arrived early on Thursday morning, Swedish time.

"It's the largest and most important country in Nato, so of course it is important," Linde said. "Now there are only seven countries left which have not ratified, it's never gone so fast."

The decision was also welcomed by Sweden's Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, who said on Twitter that the "swift vote in favour of our countries joining the alliance is greatly appreciated."

Swedish vocabulary: godkänna - approve


Volvo plans new electric battery plant in Sweden

Swedish lorry and heavy equipment maker Volvo Group said on Wednesday it planned to open a new battery factory in Sweden to manufacture battery cells for heavy-duty vehicles and machines.

“There is a strong demand from our customers already today, and by 2030, it is our ambition that at least 35 percent of the products we sell are electric", Volvo Group chief executive Martin Lundstedt said in a statement.

"This ramp-up will require large volumes of high-performing batteries, produced using fossil free energy and it is a logical next step for us to include battery production in our future industrial footprint", he added.

The project, which is subject to approvals from relevant authorities, calls for the construction of a plant in Mariestad in southern Sweden, near Volvo's main powertrain plant.

The site was chosen in order to "benefit from the region's existing industrial and logistics infrastructure" and its access to Sweden's "rich supply of fossil free energy", the company said.

Volvo Group is a wholly-Swedish company that split in 1999 from automobile maker Volvo Cars, which is now owned by Chinese group Geely.

Swedish vocabulary: batterifabrik - battery factory


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