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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Right bloc strikes government deal, Sweden Democrat to lead Sweden in OSCE, Russia's Nord Stream 'bewilderment', and inflation nears 10 percent: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Swedish money. Photo: Fotograferna Holmberg/TT

Moderate leader strikes government coalition deal

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has completed his deal with the Sweden Democrat, Christian Democrat and Liberal parties, and will announce it at 10am on Friday, state broadcaster SVT has reported.

According to a story published at close to 11pm on Thursday night, the four parties will hold a press conference at 10am where they will lay out the details on the new government’s plans to reform Sweden over the next four years.

The agreement contains both policy details and details of which parties will be part of the coalition and how they will work together.

After the press conference, at 11am, Kristersson will visit the parliament’s Speaker Andreas Norlén to inform him that the deal is complete, after which the Speaker will call a parliamentary vote on Kristersson as prime minister, probably for Monday.

Swedish vocab: en överenskommelse – an agreement 

Far-right politician appointed to lead Sweden in OSCE

One of the leading politicians in the far-right Sweden Democrats has been appointed to lead Sweden in the OSCE, a body that monitors elections and seeks to bolster security in Europe.

Björn Söder, one of the so-called ‘gang of four’ who transformed the Sweden Democrats, has been appointed chair of the Swedish delegation of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The OSCE was founded in Helsinki in 1975 as a forum for discussion between the Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc and gained its current name in 1995.

Söder has faced criticism for saying in 2018 that in his opinion members of Sweden’s Sami and Jewish minorities were not Swedish. “They are recognised as minorities because they are not Swedish,” he argued, stressing that ethnicity and citizenship were two different concepts.

Many had expected the Sweden Democrats to put Söder forward as deputy speaker of the parliament, a position he held between 2014 and 2018, but the party instead nominated his less controversial colleague Julia Kronlid.

Swedish vocab: valobservatör – election monitor

Russia aggrieved at Germany, Denmark and Sweden over Nord Stream probe

Russia’s foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned envoys of Germany, Denmark and Sweden to express “bewilderment” over Moscow’s exclusion from an investigation into leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines.

Multiple leaks were discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia to Germany, further raising political tensions already sky high since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine in February. All four leaks were located near Danish island Bornholm.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the leaks were an act of “international terrorism” that would benefit the United States, Poland and Ukraine.

Both Moscow and Washington have denied responsibility for the leaks, which were discovered in late September. Germany, Sweden and Denmark have formed a joint investigation unit to probe the apparent sabotage.

“The heads of the diplomatic missions of Germany, Denmark and Sweden in Moscow have been summoned to the Russian foreign ministry in recent days,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: att kalla upp diplomater – so summon diplomats

More rate hikes on cards as Swedish inflation nears 10 percent

Inflation in Sweden hit a higher than expected 9.7 percent in September, making it likely that the country’s central bank will have to hike interest rates even more rapidly.

In a press release issued on Thursday morning, Statistics Sweden blamed “higher electricity prices and higher prices for groceries and alcohol-free drinks” for driving price increases over the month.

The rise was higher than market expectations of about 9.3 percent, judging by a survey carried out by Bloomberg, a financial news service.

The goods that saw the highest price increases were bread and other products made from grain, and coffee, the agency wrote. 

“This is high, well above the Riksbank’s target. That indicates we will see continued big [rate] hikes,” Annika Winsth, chief economist at Nordea, told the TT newswire. 

She said that it was likely now that the 50 point rate rise planned for November would be increased to 75 points. 

“Both households and companies need to be prepared for rates continuing to rise,” she said. 

Swedish vocab: att rusa – to soar (literally “rush”) 

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

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

Sweden bans prepaid mobile phones, fewer young people fall victim to robberies and Turkey's president is angry with Sweden – again. Here's the latest news.

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

Last chance to top up your Swedish pay-as-you-go card anonymously

From February 1st it will no longer be possible to top up pay-as-you-go SIM cards anonymously due to a recent law change. Instead, they will require registration with information including the owner’s name, address and personal identity number.

The new rules come as part of a crackdown on crime, as the anonymous nature of unregistered phones makes the work of law enforcement agencies more difficult.

Foreign residents who don’t have a Swedish personal number may still be able to register their pay-as-you-go card. Comviq, for instance, says on its website that they should instead bring their foreign ID to a Pressbyrå, 7-Eleven or Circle K shop.

Swedish vocabulary: pay-as-you-go card – kontantkort

Youth robbery victims fall in Sweden

Fewer minors fell victim to robberies last year, according to new statistics from the Swedish Council on Crime Prevention (Brå). A total of 1,428 robberies of people aged under 18 were reported to the police in 2022, down 40 percent from the peak in 2019.

Such incidents have been making headlines in Sweden in recent years, after they more than doubled between 2015 and 2019 – from 1,084 to 2,489 cases reported to police.

Swedish vocabulary: a robbery – ett rån

Sweden ‘should not expect Turkey’s support over Nato’: Erdoğan after Koran burning

Sweden reacted with caution after a furious Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned the country should not expect his backing to join Nato, for allowing a Danish-Swedish far-right extremist to burn the Koran outside Ankara’s embassy in Stockholm.

“Sweden should not expect support from us for Nato,” Erdoğan said on Monday.

“I cannot comment on the statement tonight. First, I want to understand exactly what was said,” Foreign Minister Tobias Billström told Sweden’s TT news agency.

The United States defended Sweden for upholding freedom of association, but slammed the act as “vile”, saying it threatened to derail its Nato application.

Swedish vocabulary: understand – förstå

Spotify to lay off six percent of its workforce

Spotify founder Daniel Ek said he had been “too ambitious” as the Swedish streaming giant announced it is cutting six percent of its approximately 10,000 employees.

The company did not specify where the cuts will be made.

“In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth. And for this reason, today, we are reducing our employee base by about six percent across the company,” Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek said on Spotify’s official blog.

If you’re a Spotify worker affected by the cuts, you’re welcome to contact The Local’s editorial team at [email protected] to give us your side of the story. Your right to be anonymous is protected by the journalist code of ethics and the Swedish constitution.

Here’s a guide to what to do if you lose your job in Sweden.

Swedish vocabulary: employee – anställd

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