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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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
Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson is interviewed after the opening of Sweden's parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

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

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

No SFI for Ukrainians, interest rate hike, former defence minister calls for lobbyists register, and school minister open to some free school reforms: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

Sweden’s new government will not offer SFI to Ukrainians

Sweden’s new government has told Swedish state broadcaster SR that it does not intend to extend Sweden for Immigrants courses to Ukrainian refugees to better help them find work and settle in the country. 

Instead the government intends to invest money in “Swedish from day one”, a voluntary education scheme which will be held in folkhögskolor, Sweden’s system of specialist education colleges, and in adult education centres run by various organisations. 

“The most important thing is that there is a right to learn Swedish. But exactly what form that should take is up for discussion,” said Sweden’s education minister Mats Persson. 

Swedish vocab: en rätt – a right

Sweden’s central bank chief to make final interest rate move

Stefan Ingves, the head of Sweden’s Riksbank, is today likely to announce yet another hike in interest rates in his final big decision in the role. 

After 17 years in the job, Ingves is due to stand down in the New Year, but not before announcing what the market expects will be a 75 point hike in the core interest rate, bringing it to 2.5 percent. Some suspect he may even go for a second 100 point rise as the bank pushes to get inflation under control. 

Ingves will be replaced by Erik Thedéen, the current head of Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority. 

Swedish vocab: en räntesmäll – an interest rate explosion

Former defence minister Peter Hultqvist calls for lobbyists to register

Former defence minister Peter Hultqvist has proposed a bill to parliament which will see lobbyists and PR companies have to register and declare their interests before they are allowed to meet MPs, government and public officials. 

Hultqvist said that when Sweden had been tendering for a new Patriot air defence system, the activities of lobbyists had seriously complicated the process. 

“I’ve experienced this myself,” he said. “We had a long line of lobbyists and PR agencies who tried to influence the process at various levels. It was partly about the relationship with the parliament, partly to the department, but there were also attempts to influence officials at the Swedish Defence Materials Administration.” 

He said that if Sweden had rules like in the US, it would improve the system and be “fully reasonable”. 

Swedish vocab: att påverka – to influence 

Sweden’s school minister open to tougher rules for free schools 

Swedens’ schools minister Lotta Edholm, has said that it might be right to provide lower amounts of money per pupil to free schools than to municipal schools, and agreed that some schools have sent state money out of the country. 

A government inquiry launched by the former Social Democrat government is likely to propose new laws limiting how money given to free schools can be used.

“We have never said that there is a problem with paying out profits [to shareholders] if you are fulfilling the quality requirements. The big problem is when pupils don’t get the education they have a right to,” she said. 

Swedish vocab: undervisning – education  

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