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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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For members


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

Stockholmers told to brace for more snow, murder trial set to get under way, Northvolt in talks with banks and new stats reveal the state of maternity wards in the Swedish capital. Here's the latest news.

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

How many children were born in Stockholm hospitals last year?

The number of births fell from 28,843 to 26,221 in Stockholm last year, new figures reported by Swedish news agency TT show. But 5.7 percent – or almost 1,500 expectant mothers – were turned away from their chosen maternity ward to give birth elsewhere.

If there is no space at the mother’s preferred hospital when she goes into labour, she may be told to go to a different hospital instead, a practice which peaked in the capital region in 2014, when this happened to 7.49 percent of people, but is again increasing.

Stockholm’s childbirth coordinator Nicole Silverstolpe told TT that she found the current level reasonable. “We actively work to give people their choice. But there will always be a risk that you have to go to another clinic than the one you have in mind,” she said.

Swedish vocabulary: to give birth – att föda barn

Tove murder trial set to get under way in Sweden

The trial of two young women charged for allegedly strangling a 21-year-old woman to death after an argument at a nightclub starts today.

Hundreds searched for Tove when she disappeared from the south-eastern town of Vetlanda in October. Just a few days later two of her friends, aged 18 and 20, were accused of murdering her after an old conflict was reignited.

The two women both admit to moving Tove’s body, but have different accounts of what happened in the run-up.

The 20-year-old admits to assaulting Tove in her apartment, but denies the murder charges, claiming her death was an accident. She has told police that the 18-year-old took part in the assault, which the 18-year-old denies.

The 18-year-old claims she was asleep when Tove died and that she afterwards felt forced to help move the body.

Swedish vocabulary: a murder trial – en mordrättegång

Stockholmers told to brace for more snow

Sweden’s national weather forecaster SMHI has issued a yellow warning of snow and wind on the central east coast, covering Stockholm, Södertälje, Uppsala and Gävle.

The alert applies to the period between noon on Monday and 2pm on Tuesday, and could lead to slow-moving traffic, accidents and delayed or cancelled public transport.

SMHI predicts that between five and 15 centimetres of snow is set to fall. Some areas, particularly in the Uppsala region, could get up to 20 centimetres.

Swedish vocabulary: snow – snö

Northvolt aims to raise more than $5 billion from banks

Swedish battery maker Northvolt is in talks with several banks to secure financing of more than $5 billion, according to Financial Times. Northvolt declined to comment.

Northvolt’s factory in Skellefteå, which produced its first battery in 2021, has brought a jobs boom to the north-eastern Swedish city, attracting foreign workers to the degree that the local newspaper in the region started a section in English earlier this year.

Swedish vocabulary: a battery maker – en batteritillverkare