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

Speaker to meet party leaders, Liberals slammed by MEPs, how climate issues were ignored in the election and other news from Sweden in our roundup on Monday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Liberal Party leader Johan Pehrson. Photo: Christina Olsson/TT

Liberal Party criticised in European Parliament for Sweden Democrat backing 

Several MEPs from other liberal parties in the European Parliament have criticised Sweden’s Liberal Party for its decision to support a government reliant on the far-right Sweden Democrats. At a meeting of the Renew Europe group, which coordinates liberal parties in the EU parliament, some even suggested that the Swedish Liberals be ejected. 

“How can you take the decision you have made and still want to stay in Renew?” the Belgian MEP Hilde Vautmans asked her colleagues in the Swedish Liberal Party at the meeting. 

After the meeting the Liberal Party’s leader Johan Pehrson wrote a letter to Renew MEPs in which he stressed that “The Sweden Democrats, with their nationalist and populist agenda, are our chief opponents. We Liberals have clear red lines over what compromises we can make in forming a coalition.” 

But, he added, given the election result, the only way to create a majority together with the Moderats and Christian Democrats is “to come to an agreement with the Sweden Democrats”. 

“It will not be easy,” he added. 

On Monday, Swedish state broadcaster SVT reported Renew Europe chair Antoine Guéry saying that the Swedish Liberals would not be eject from the group. 

Swedish vocab: att komma overens – to come to an agreement 

Riksdag Speaker to begin talks to form Swedish government on Monday

The Speaker of the Riksdag will begin talks with the leaders of seven parties to form a new government.

On Monday, the Speaker of the Riksdag, Andreas Norlén, will begin one-on-one talks with the leaders of seven Riksdag parties to form a new government following Sweden’s historic election last week.

Following the talks, it is expected that Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson will be tasked with forming a new government. Kristersson has already announced that negotiations with the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Sweden Democrats are already underway.

But Kristersson has not yet given a clear indication of which parties he aims to include in a government, besides the Moderates and Christian Democrats.

Norlén will, starting on Monday morning, have individual conversations with the leaders of seven of the Riksdag’s eight parties. The Speaker spoke with outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson when she submitted her resignation on Thursday.

Norlén has not indicated a timetable for the order or duration of the talks.

Swedish vocab: en samtalsrunda – a round of talks

Swedish unions: We do not want an inflationary wage spiral

Swedish unions do not want to push for wage increased to match or beat inflation in the current wage bargaining for next year, as they believe this will contribute to a wage-price inflation spiral. 

“We do not believe in any idea of compensating for high inflation,” Veli-Pekka Säikkälä, negotiating secretary for the IF Metall union, told Sweden’s TT newswire. “If we demand compensation for inflation, it will like a cat chasing its own tail. Then we’ll end up where we were in the 1980s with high inflation for five years, and we don’t want to go there again.” 

Johan Ingelskog, the negotiating secretary for the Kommunal union, makes the same argument.

“The two parties in the labour market need to take a common responsibility for not driving up inflation, by respecting the model we have set up,” he said. “We have sen before that some white-collar union groups haven’t given a shit about the “marker”, and taken out more money, and that’s something we don’t want to see in this bargaining round.” 

Swedish vocab: att skita i – to not bother about (literally “to shit in”). 

‘Election campaign turned its back on the climate’

Climate change and what to do about it has been a key issue in many recent elections in countries around the world, but not in Sweden, Professor Sverker Jagers at Gothenburg University has told the TT newswire. 

“This was more an election campaign that turned itself against the climate, and above all against the measures that are necessary to handle the climate problem,” he said. “Increasing prices for fossil fuels and energy is actually necessary for us to improve our conservation of resources and phase out fossil fuels, but now the parties are competing over who can reduce prices. That’s totally counterproductive for the climate.” 

Even if the current campaign for the US mid-term elections, there is a much higher level of insight and knowledge about the climate compared to the Swedish campaign that just ended, argues Björn-Ola Linnér, a professor in international climate politics at Linköping University. 

“It is not exactly top marks for the Swedish election debate that the debate in the US is significantly more insightful,” he said.

The campaign in Sweden ended up being almost entirely about nuclear power, he complained. 

“There was an extremely limited scope on the broader list of climate issues. It’s unfortunate and not particularly helpful in the long-run, because it manes that there’s not going to be any consideration of an overall solution to the climate issue.” 

Swedish vocab: begränsad – limited

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

Nord Stream sabotage, new government in 'a few weeks', Nato talks 'moving along nicely': find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Pipeline gas leaks in Baltic Sea due to ‘deliberate acts’, Nordic leaders

Leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines near the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden, are due to “deliberate acts” and “not an accident”, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday.

“The clear advice from the authorities is they were deliberate acts. We are not talking about an accident,” she told a press conference.

“We don’t have information yet about those responsible,” Frederiksen added.

Copenhagen expects the leaks at the pipelines, which are not operational but full of gas, will last “at least a week” — until the methane escaping from the underwater pipes runs out, the Danish energy and climate minister said at a press conference.

A Swedish seismological institute says underwater ‘blasts’ were recorded prior to Nord Stream leaks. 

Swedish vocab: undervattensexplosioner – underwater explosions

New government could be installed ‘within a few weeks’ 

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson said on Tuesday that he believed he could be voted in as Prime Minister and install a new government “within a few weeks”.

“But nothing is done before it is done,” he said, saying that when he meets the Speaker Andreas Norlén on Wednesday, he would “sum up where we stand”, leaving Norlén to make a judgement on how much time it is “suitable or reasonable” to give Kristersson to negotiate a government deal. 

Swedish vocab: att redovisa – to sum up, give an account of 

King Carl XVI Gustaf formally opens parliament

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf formally opened Sweden’s new parliamentary term with a speech in the main chamber, in which he looked back to the first time he opened parliament in 1974.

“Since then, nearly 50 years have passed. Crises have come and gone bringing palpable stresses, but as a country we have brought ourselves through it all together,” he said.

“Do your best for Sweden and its citizens,” he told the sitting MPs. I wish all of you who have been elected to represent Sweden’s people, energy, bravery and wisdom for your important work.”

Swedish vocab: kännbara – palpable 

Swedish Nato discussion with Turkey ‘moving along nicely’: Foreign Minister

A delegation from Sweden’s Justice Department is travelling to Turkey for a meeting on “the extradition of criminal terrorists”.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency is calling the meeting, Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed on Tuesday. 

Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister Ann Linde said that the talks with Turkey were “moving along nicely”. 

“My judgement is that Turkey will say ‘yes’ to Swedish Nato membership, however I don’t know when that is going to be.”

Swedish vocab: att rulla på – to move along nicely