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

SD's Nobel snub, a mayor left speechless, -15.4C in Lapland, and Indiska bankruptcy: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Karin Lindahl, the chief executive of the Indiska clothing chain. Photo: Alexandra Bengtsson/SvD/TT

Sweden Democrat leader not invited to Nobel Prize celebrations

Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats has once again been denied an invitation to the lavish Nobel prize celebrations, despite his party’s crucial role backing Sweden’s new government.

The Nobel Foundation, which manages the funds which go to pay for five of the six Nobel prizes awarded by Sweden, has refused to invite Åkesson ever since his party entered parliament with 20 MPs in 2010, even though the leader of every party is invited to attend the formal dinner.

In a press release on Tuesday, the foundation said that it “saw no reason to revisit its decision” not to invite the Sweden Democrats’ leader to the celebrations.

Swedish vocab: att ompröva en beslut – to revisit a decision 

Norrtälje mayor speechless on payrise

The Deputy Mayor of the Swedish town of Norrtälje was left speechless for 26 seconds when a television reporter asked him about the city council’s shock decision to increase councillors’ wages by an inflationary 27 percent. 

The reporter said that just the increase in a councillor’s wage was equivalent to the entire salary of a healthcare assistant, and asked him if he couldn’t think of a better way to spend the money. 

After his long silence, Staffan Tjörnhammar said “it’s always a question of priorities”. 

The council on Tuesday evening said it was backing down on the wage hike, and would negotiate a lower pay rise among councillors. 

“It all happened too quickly and I’ve come to the conclusion that it needs to be done again,” city mayor Bino Drummond wrote in a text message to the Aftonbladet newspaper. 

You don’t need to speak Swedish to understand what’s happening in the video

Swedish vocab: att göra om -– to redo something

Temperatures of -15.4C recorded in Northern Lapland 

It’s finally starting to get properly cold in northern Sweden as the snow arrives uncharacteristically late. A temperature of -15.4C was recorded in Naimakka, at the northern tip of Lapland on Monday night, the coldest temperature yet recorded this winter.

On Thursday, it’s expected to snow in the mountains of Norrland, with rain over the lowlands.

Swedish vocab: kylan – “the cold” (cold weather)

Indiska clothing chain declared bankrupt 

Indiska, a Swedish high-street clothing chain specialising in flowery dresses often made in India, has declared bankruptcy, the Dagens Industri newspaper reported on Tuesday. 

In a press release, the company said that the Swedish Tax Agency had refused to allow the company to go into reconstuction and instead forced it into bankruptcy. 

Swedish vocab: konkurs – bamkruptcy

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For members


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

More than 5,000 people notified of layoffs in Sweden, Americans in Sweden warned of terror threat in wake of Koran burning, and the Swedish Migration Agency presents a new forecast for 2023. Here's the latest news.

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

More than 5,000 warned of layoffs in Sweden last month

A total of 5,328 people were affected by potential layoffs in Sweden in January, according to preliminary statistics by the Public Employment Service.

Swedish law states that employers in most cases have to first give employees and the service notice that there may be layoffs, so not all of those people will necessarily lose their jobs. Here’s a link to The Local’s guide to what happens if you lose your job in Sweden.

In January last year, the corresponding figure was just over 1,400 people, but it has been increasing every month since, writes Swedish news agency TT.

Swedish vocabulary: a notice (when notifying staff that they may be laid off, but they could still end up keeping their jobs or get a new job at the same company) – ett varsel

US citizens in Sweden warned of terror attack in wake of Koran burnings

In a new notice, the US embassy warns its citizens in Sweden of possible terrorist attacks in retaliation of recent Koran burning incidents in Europe.

In Sweden, a far-right extremist last month burned the Koran outside the Turkish embassy, causing Turkey to suspend Nato talks with Sweden and Finland, and causing outrage in many Muslim countries.

The notice advises US citizens to “use caution” in busy public venues, diplomatic facilities and gathering sites such as places of worship. Sweden has not changed its terror threat level, which remains at level three on a scale from one to five.

Swedish vocabulary: a terror threat level – en terrorhotnivå

Swedish Migration Agency’s new forecast for 2023

The Migration Agency estimates that 16,000 people will seek asylum in Sweden in 2023, and 15,000 Ukrainians will seek protection. However, it adds that the number of Ukrainian arrivals could vary from 8,000 to 100,000 depending on how the war develops.

It also believes that around 80,000 people will apply for Swedish citizenship this year, and that the agency will receive 60,000 work permit-related first-time applications (this also includes for example family members of work permit applicants and job hunters).

Swedish vocabulary: a refugee – en flykting

Cost of living: How food prices rose in Sweden in early 2023

The increase in food prices in January was 1.4 percent – one of the largest increases reported since food prices started rising almost a year ago, according to independent comparison site Matpriskollen.

In January, the price of groceries increased 1.3 percent on December, with the price of food specifically increasing by 1.4 percent. Food prices have now gone up 16.3 percent in the last 12 months. Read more in The Local’s article.

Swedish vocabulary: food prices – matpriser