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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
A forensic technician investigates the site of a serious blast in Solna, north of Stockholm. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

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

Speaker mystery, rock-bottom lobster prices, government talks, and a Centre Party leader candidate: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden Democrat candidate appointed deputy speaker on second attempt

Julia Kronlid, the Sweden Democrat who was the right-wing bloc’s candidate for second deputy speaker, was voted in on the second attempt on Monday afternoon, after the first left both candidates short of a majority.

On the second vote, Kronlid, who is second deputy leader of the Sweden Democrats, received 174 votes, compared to 47 for her Green Party rival Janine Alm Ericsson. The other MPs laid down their votes.

In the first vote on the post on Monday morning, Kronlid received 173 votes, while Ericsson received 49. As no candidate had a majority, the vote had to be held again.

The vote was held by a secret ballot, making it difficult to know which MPs voted against their party line on the first attempt, and leading to frenzied speculation.

Some blamed Liberal MPs wanting to protest the decision to back a Sweden Democrat for the role; some blamed Björn Söder, the Sweden Democrat who held the role in 2014-2018 and was passed over in favour of Kronlid; some even argued it was a ‘false flag’ operation by the Sweden Democrats to aid them in the ongoing government negotiations. 

Earlier in the day, a unanimous parliament voted the Moderate Party Speaker Andreas Norlén back into the position for another four years. 

Swedish vocab: enhällig – unanimous

Price crash for season’s first Swedish lobsters

The season’s first box of Swedish lobsters has plummeted more than ten-fold in price compared to last year, with the box going for just 7,000 kronor per kilogram at the fish auction in Gothenburg, a fraction of the 77,000 kronor recorded in 2021. 

The lobster fishing season began on Monday, following Swedish rules and tradition. The record price, of 102,000 kronor a kilogram, was set in 2012. 

Swedish vocab: en bråkdel – a fraction

Right bloc talks ‘going extremely well’: Moderate leader

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has said that the negotiations with the Christian Democrat, Sweden Democrat, and Liberal Parties over forming the next government were progressing smoothly with the shape of Sweden’s next government starting to look clear. 

“It’s going very well. We are moving forwards step by step,” he said after Speaker Andreas Norlén announced that he would call him in for an update on the talks on Wednesday.

Kristersson said he now had “a good idea” of how the next government would look, indicating that he may have reached a broad agreement on which political parties will be part of the new government. 

He said that the “big first step”, reaching agreement on the Speaker positions and the chairs and deputy chairs of parliamentary committees, had “not been difficult” and that all four parties “had been constructive”. 

Norlén on Monday would not say how long he would give Kristersson to come to an agreement with the other parties. He would take this decision after speaking with Kristersson on Wednesday he said, adding that it was important to have an orderly process. 

Swedish vocab: en ordnad process – an orderly process 

Centre Party politicians call for Helena Lindahl to take over as leader 

A group of 20 Centre Party politicians has called for Helena Lindahl, who broke party ranks and voted against Stefan Löfven as Prime Minister in January 2019, to succeed Annie Lööf as the party’s leader. 

In an article in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, the politicians said that the party’s poor result in September’s election “has to be seen as a collective failure”, and called for the party to “reestablish the party’s roots in the countryside.” 

The party, they argue, needs a leader with a clear centre-right profile who can turn the party into a “stronger, greener people’s movement”. 

Lindahl was the most prominent figure to realise how damaging for the party it would be to cooperate with the Social Democrats and the Green Party, they argue. 

Swedish vocab: att förutspå – to  predict