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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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
The year's first lobster sold for 7,000 kronor at auction on Tuesday. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

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

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Opposition calls for change to electricity compensation, electric cars, and Swedish parliament votes through hiked work permit salary threshold. Here's Sweden's news on Thursday.

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

Social Democrats call for government to change electricity compensation 

Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson has called for the government to change its planned system of compensation for high power prices, after it emerged that wealthy people would receive the full support, but those receiving welfare payments would not. 

“It’s just too stupid, so they just have to put it in order,” Andersson said after the detail came out. “Those who have big villas, jacuzzis or heated garages will receive hundreds of thousands of kronor, while those who are living on the tightest margins — where the fact that Bregott [butter] costs 70 kronor makes a real difference to their daily lives – won’t receive any of this.” 

Swedish vocab: vardagar – every day [lives]

Swedish parliament votes through work permit and ID-number laws

Sweden’s parliament on Wednesday voted through two bills, one which will allow the government to hike the minimum salary for a work permit, and another which may lead to people with coordination numbers being able to get BankID.

The first bill, “A higher subsistence requirement for labour migrants” (Ett höjt försörjningskrav för arbetskraftsinvandrare), was passed with a majority of 244 in favour and 54 against, with only the Centre, Green and Left parties voting against the move to tighten labour migration.

In the debate over the bill, Jonny Cato from the Centre Party dismissed the government’s claim that the bill would be “a big win for Swedish businesses”, saying that businesses were in fact “extremely worried about where they are going to get their competence.”

“If we look at who these labour migrants with a salary under 33,200 are, who will no longer have permission to stay but will be deported – it is one out of seven systems developers, one of out seven engineers, and one out of seven IT architects. This is highly skilled labour,” he said. “How will companies be able to get the expertise they need now and not in five years time?”

The bill empowers the government to raise the maintenance requirement for work permit applicants from outside the EU, the Nordic countries and Switzerland above the current 13,000 kronor a month.

It does not propose how much higher the maintenance requirement should be, or propose a date for when the changes should come into force, stating instead that it can be implemented on “the day the government decides”.

Sweden’s Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard has said she intends to do this as soon as possible.

Swedish vocab: försörjningskrav – support requirement 

Four out of ten new cars sold are electric in Sweden 

Sales of cars in Sweden were up 22 percent year on year in November. 64.8 percent were battery powered, of which 22.3 percent were plug-in hybrid and 42.5 percent fully electric.

The rush to buy electric cars on November 8th, when the government announced it was scrapping the bonus for electric vehicles the next day, will not show up in the statistics until next month. 

Sofia Linder, chief economist for Mobility Sweden, said the rise in sales was a result of supply rising to meet the strong demand for new cars. 

“At the same time the industry’s supply chain is still out of balance, with a bigger demand than supply, which is something that is expected to continue even next year,” she said in a press release. 

Swedish vocab: laddbara bilar – plug-in cars

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