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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 Monday

Permanent residency to remain for work permit migrants, a-Kassa delays, snow, and PKK suspect extradited to Turkey: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

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

‘End to permanent residency will not affect labour migrants’: Migration Minister 

Sweden’s Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard has told Swedish state broadcaster SR that the government’s proposed abolition of permanent residency will only affect asylum-related migration cases and not people in Sweden on work permits, or those who have come to study for PhDs. 

“The government’s idea is that permanent residency will be phased out for those who are related to asylum immigration. That means asylum seekers and their relatives, for instance, but not for workforce migration,” she told SR’s English language wing Radio Sweden

She said the coming inquiry into how to convert existing permanent residencies into citizenships would also only focus on asylum-related migration cases, and not on those here on work permits. 

“But I think if you come here and you intend to stay, then there should be an ambition to learn Swedish language, have knowledge about the society, be able to support yourself, and, after maybe eight to 10 years, become a citizen and become a full part of the Swedish society. And that is an important signal to send.” 

Malmer Stenergard said that she wanted to make handling times shorter for those with work permits. 

“We want to focus on the highly skilled workforce coming to Sweden, and improve the rules to make handling times shorter,” she said. “We know that is a great problem for those who apply for work permits and also for those who apply for a prolongation of work permits. We are set on improving the rules so that it will be more attractive to come to Sweden.” 

Swedish vocab: arbetstillstånd – work permit 

Unemployment payments to be delayed after cyber attack 

Unemployment payments under Sweden’s a-kassa insurance system will be delayed this Thursday, due to the suspected cyber attack last week which saw the entire system taken off line. 

This means that payments which were supposed to go out to unemployed people on Thursday are going to be delayed for a few days, but will be paid “as soon as possible”. 

Swedish vocab: snarast möjligt – as soon as possible

Snow and sub-zero temperatures this week in almost all of Sweden

Snow is expected to fall and temperatures to drop below zero in almost every part of Sweden next week, Sweden’s state weather forecaster said in an update over the weekend. 

“We can expect sub-zero temperatures across most of the country,” Therese Fougman at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) said. “It will probably be a few centimetres (of snow). It probably won’t snow everywhere, but large parts of Norrland look set to get some of it, as well as Svealand and Götaland. It may actually snow all the way down towards Skåne and southern Halland.” 

After a period of milder weather, a white winter seems to be on its way. According to the SMHI, residents in most parts of the country can expect both snowfall and freezing temperatures during the next week.

Generally speaking, snowfall is expected during the middle of the week.

Swedish vocab: kylan – chilly weather 

Sweden extradites suspected PKK terror group member to Turkey

Sweden has extradited a convicted member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to Turkey as Ankara presses Stockholm for further steps in return for its membership in NATO, state media reported on Saturday.

Mahmut Tat, who was sentenced to six years and 10 months in jail for PKK membership in Turkey, fled to Sweden in 2015 but his asylum request was rejected.

Tat arrived in Istanbul on Friday night having been detained by Swedish police, the Anadolu news agency reported.

He was taken by Turkish police soon after arriving at Istanbul airport and referred to court on Saturday, the private NTV broadcaster reported.

Turkey has accused Finland and Sweden in particular of providing a safe haven for outlawed Kurdish groups it deems “terrorists”, and held back on ratifying their NATO bids despite an agreement in Madrid in June.

Swedish vocab: utvisades – extradited

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