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

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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Ukrainian refugee Alexander Bashyn and Marcus Ahlqvist outside a meeting place for Ukrainians in Hässleholm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

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.


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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