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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Party leaders' summer speeches, SAS loan, and Koran burnings lose impact: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
The Danish-Swedish anti-Islamic extremist rests during a Koran-burning in Fittja, outside Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Social Democrats launch package of laws against gang crime

Sweden’s Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, on Sunday proposed a raft of new proposals to combat gang crime, including criminalising “recruiting minors to gang crime”, and tougher punishments for those who commit gang-related crimes. 

“We do not tolerate twelve-year-olds working as watchmen for drug deals,” Andersson said in her speech in Gothenburg, while adding that, unlike the right-wing parties, the Social Democrats also wanted to address the causes of crime. 

“We need to go directly and address the breeding ground for new recruitment, which is to say ‘segregation’,” she said. “First, you’re driven to an area where not many people speak Swedish or have a job to go to, then your chances of entering broader society are much too small. Then the gang criminals get their claws into your children and try to drag them into drug dealing.” 

Swedish vocab: en grogrund – a breeding ground 

Moderate leader promise 31.5 billion in tax breaks for ‘low and middle income’ people

Ulf Kristersson, leader of Sweden’s opposition Moderate Party, on Sunday promised to bring in 31.5bn kronor in tax cuts for low and middle income people, with a more generous tax break for those in work, giving an extra 500 kronor more a month to the average worker, a new job bonus for those who leave long-term unemployment worth ten percent of their monthly salary, and a new tax cut for pensioners worth a further 500 kronor. 

“We must move from welfare payments to jobs,” Kristersson said. “More people need to work more.” 

Sweden’s finance minister Mikael Damberg warned that the proposals, if enacted, risked driving up inflation and as a result interest rates. 

Swedish vocab: en skattesänkning – a tax cut 

Sweden Democrats call for prison service to be renamed ‘punishment agency’ 

The populist Sweden Democrats on Saturday called for the Swedish Prisons and Probations Agency to be given a name that reflects its chief purpose: to administer punishments. 

Rather than being called Kriminalvården, which literally means “criminal care”, or “criminal ward”, the agency should be called Straffverket, the punishment agency, the party’s leader Jimmie Åkesson said at his summer speech on Saturday. 

“The main focus should be to punish criminals,” Åkesson told TT after the speech. “It should be to lock in, punish, and keep criminals away from honourable, law-abiding people.”

“The prison agency’s main focus today is mainly just care, and we think that can’t be the main focus of how society handles serious criminals, and dangerous criminals, and that should be reflected in the agency’s name.” 

Swedish vocab: hederlig – honourable 

Koran burnings by Danish far-right extremist ‘no longer causing riots’

Swedish police said there have been no disturbances associated with the Koran burning by Danish far-right extremist Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (“Hard Line”) this week around Stockholm, unlike the riots seen over Easter.

Paludan and his party have been holding demonstrations this week involving burning the Koran, in what Paludan describes as an “election tour” ahead of standing in Sweden’s parliamentary election in September.

However Swedish newswire TT has reported that few people have seemed to care about the shock tactics used and police have confirmed that no major disturbances have occurred as a result of the demonstrations.

This is in stark contrast to the demonstrations over Easter, which resulted in riots involving vandalism and violence aimed primarily at police. A total of 26 police officers were injured and at least 40 people were arrested.

Swedish vocab: kravaller – riots

Struggling Scandinavian carrier SAS gets $700m loan

Ailing Scandinavian airline SAS, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in early July, said Sunday it had secured a 700-million-dollar loan.

The move follows a crippling 15-day pilot strike, also in July, that cost the carrier between $9 and $12 million a day.

The pilots were protesting against salary cuts demanded by management as part of a restructuring plan aimed at ensuring the survival of the company.

SAS said it has entered “into a debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing credit agreement for $700 million with funds managed by Apollo Global Management”.

SAS had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and said the “DIP financing, along with cash generated from the company’s ongoing operations, enables SAS to continue meeting its obligations throughout the chapter 11 process”.

“With this financing, we will have a strong financial position to continue supporting our ongoing operations throughout our voluntary restructuring process in the US,” SAS board chairman Carsten Dilling said.

Swedish vocab: ett låneavtal – a loan agreement 

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Explosion in Solna, deadly shooting record broken and autumnal equinox. Here's Sweden's news on Friday.

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

Apartments evacuated after explosion in Solna

A major explosion occured in Huvudsta in Solna, just north of Stockholm, late on Thursday night. Residents of the affected apartment block have been evacuated.

No one has been arrested after the incident which is being investigated as grov allmänfarlig ödeläggelse (grave devastation endangering the public).

The explosion occured in or next to an apartment block, damaging the stairwell and some windows, police press spokesperson Daniel Wikdahl told newswire TT.

The blast was heard over large parts of Solna and in some areas of Stockholm. Rescue services were still on-site early on Friday morning, but residents were not yet able to access their apartments.

There are no known injuries and police are unsure as to whether the explosion was targeting a specific apartment or whether it is related to gang violence.

Swedish vocabulary: flerfamiljshus – apartment block (literally, “multiple family house”)

Autumnal equinox arrives: ‘Days the same length worldwide’

The autumnal equinox – the time between the summer and winter solstice where day and night are the same length worldwide – took place this morning at 03:03am.

From now on, the nights will be longer than days in Sweden.

“Darkness is drawing in and it might be time to get your cosy lighting out,” SVT’s meteorologist Marcus Sjöstedt told the public broadcaster.

The onset of autumn can also be seen in the weather, where Sjöstedt predicts more cloudy skies this weekend with some rain showers.

“Next week we can expect some more unstable weather with rain and clouds at times. High pressure is conspicuously absent, as is the warmth,” he said.

Despite the weather, Sjöstedt is still positive.

“It’s quite nice that the days are equally as long across the whole world. That still gives you a certain feeling of solidarity.”

Swedish vocabulary: höstdagjämningen – autumnal equinox. (Bonus vocabulary: mysbelysning – cosy lighting)

Sweden breaks yearly record for deadly shootings

A man in his twenties was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night.

He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record set in 2020 has been overtaken, despite it only being September.

The alarm was raised at 11pm om Thursday, where police were informed of a shooting in the north of the city.

“Then there were a number of calls concerning gunfire, but also about an injured person on Göingegatan,” Evelina Olsson, police press spokesperson in the southern police district, told TT during the night.

He was transferred to hospital in an ambulance but his life could not be saved.

“We know who he is now and his family has been notified,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT. “We can’t say more than that he is in his twenties and that we currently have no suspects.”

Kristianstad has been affected by multiple shootings – as recently as this weekend, a man in his 30s was found with bullet injuries in the same area of the city.

Swedish vocabulary: skjutningar – shootings

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