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

Greens over threshold, tough sentences for teens, summer sun, and a gloomier outlook for the economy: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

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

Green Party over parliamentary threshold in new poll 

Sweden’s green party has the support of 5.2 percent of voters in a new opinion poll from Novus for state broadcaster SVT. This is the first time the party has been over the four percent parliamentary threshold in a Novus poll since December last year, and puts the four parties supporting Magdalena Andersson as prime minister ahead of the right-wing bloc, with 49.8 percent to 48.6 percent, with 1.6 percent saying they will vote for other, smaller parties.

Torbjörn Sjöström, the chief executive of Novus, said more supporters of other left-wing parties seemed to be now planning to vote tactically to keep the greens in parliament. 

“We are seeing a clear movement from the Left Party and Social Democrats to the Green Party,” he said. The main explanation is that they see no alternative: if the Green Party falls out of parliament, then it won’t be possible to have a Social Democrat-led government. 

Swedish vocab: riksdagsspärren – the parliamentary threshold

Christian Democrats calls for 15-year prison sentences for teenagers 

Sweden’s Christian Democrat party has called for the minimum prison sentence for those between the ages of 15 and 18 years old to be increased to 15 years, and scrap the discount on sentences for those between the ages of 18 and 21. 

“We need to put strict limits on the sentencing discount for those between 15 and 18 years old to reduce the threshold effect,” said the party’s leader Ebba Busch. 

Swedish vocab: en tröskeleffekt – a threshold effect 

‘Tougher times’: Sweden’s economy to slow next year

Consumers in Sweden are set to crimp spending over the rest of the year, pushing the country into an economic slowdown, Sweden’s official economic forecaster has warned in its latest prognosis.

A combination of record high energy prices over the winter, rising interest rates, and inflation at around 10 percent, is set to hit household spending power over the autumn and winter, leading to lower sales for businesses and dragging economic growth down to just 0.5 percent next year. This is down from the 1.2 percent the institute had forecast for 2023 in its spring forecast.

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” Ylva Hedén Westerdahl, forecasting head at the Swedish National Institute of Economic Research, said at a press conference announcing the new forecast. “We don’t expect the sort of economic slowdown that we saw during the financial crisis or the pandemic, where unemployment rose much more. But having said that, people who don’t have a job will find it tougher to enter the labour market.”

Swedish vocab: dyster – gloomy

Summer weather in southern Sweden expected to continue into next week

Southern Sweden can expect to see sun and temperatures over 25 degrees for the rest of the week, with the northern parts of the country facing clouds and cooler temperatures.

According to SVT’s meteorologist Nils Holmqvist, the hot weather is due to a high-pressure front coming in from the south, leading to sun and perfect temperatures for swimming. 

In some areas of southern Sweden, temperatures could reach as high as 30 degrees on Thursday, with a chance of slightly cooler temperatures in coastal areas.

Across large parts of Norrland, cloudy weather is expected, with temperatures of 15-20 degrees on the coast, and lower temperatures expected further inland. In the mountains, rain is forecast.

The high-pressure front is likely to have moved over Sweden by the beginning of next week, resulting in possible thunderstorms.

Swedish vocab: ett högtryck –  a high pressure system

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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