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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.

woman and boy walking through stockholm looking at their phones
Soon it will no longer be possible to top up a prepaid SIM card anonymously in Sweden. Photo: Tim Aro/TT

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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For members


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

PM's aide resigns over eel scandal, Sweden pushes migrant returns at EU meeting, Leopard tanks, and SD denies connection with journalist behind Koran stunt. Here's the latest news.

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

Swedish PM’s top aide resigns over illegal eel fishing

One of Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s top aides, PM Nilsson, has resigned from his post after it emerged that he had been fined by police for illegally fishing for eels and had twice lied to the authorities about what happened.

Nilsson announced his decision on Facebook, saying that he had already apologised and paid the fines.

“I understand how improper it is to fish for eels without a permit and to not tell things as they were to the authorities, even if I have since then rung the police and admitted that I had caught 15 fish,” he wrote in the post.

Nilsson lied twice to police about eel fishing equipment he was caught with, the second time after he was appointed as state secretary at the end of October.

After the resignation, Kristersson said he was disappointed that Nilsson, who had previously been a columnist for the Dagens Industri newspaper, had had to step down.

“I think of course that it is unfortunate that this situation has come about, but I understand his decision,” he said in a written comment to the TT newswire. “PM Nilsson has been a highly appreciated member of the team and is a highly competent person. We are going to miss him.”

Swedish vocab: olämplig – improper

Swedish EU presidency pushes for greater returns of migrants denied asylum

EU interior ministers on Thursday discussed how to return irregular migrants to their home countries more effectively — with some arguing for limiting visas to uncooperative nations.

The Swedish EU presidency believes cooperation could be improved with countries outside the EU whose citizens make up significant numbers of irregular migrants.

Malmer Stenergard said it was “crucial” that EU member states use the full weight of their governments — including leveraging development aid — to press third countries on the returns issue.

“If countries don’t cooperate with Sweden it should be possible for that to bring consequences in how EU visa politics look towards that country,” she said. 

Swedish vocab: att samarbeta – to cooperate

SD calls minister to social insurance committee

The far-right Sweden Democrats have called Sweden’s social insurance minister Anna Tenje to the parliament’s social insurance committee over her decision to close down a government inquiry or investigation into whether to end the karensdag system, where people’s first day off sick goes unpaid. 

“The karensdag [‘qualifying day’ or ‘waiting day’] represents a significant burden for many extremely vulnerable groups in health and elderly care, among other professions, particularly in these times where many Sweden are experiencing great economic uncertainty” Linda Lindberg, the party’s social policy spokesperson, said in a press message. “We are therefore critical of the fact that the government has taken this decision.” 

Swedish vocab: en börde – a burden 

Sweden to help Ukraine get Leopard tanks 

Sweden will on Friday take part in a meeting of countries which own the German Leopard tanks, to investigate how some of then can be sent to Ukraine. 

“We are going to do what we can to enable tanks to be sent to Ukraine,” defense minister Pål Jonson told TT newswire. “I am not ruling anything out, whether it will be possible to send tanks or to instead contribute to maintenance, education, and logistics.” 

The Sweden Democrats have asked the government to do everything possible to send Sweden’s Leopards, known as Stridsvagn 122 in Sweden, to Ukraine. 

Swedish vocab: att möjliggöra – to enable 

SD leader Jimmie Åkesson: ‘Frick has no connection to SD’ 

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson on Friday denied any relation to Chang Frick, the journalist who it emerged this week funded Rasmus Paludan’s burning of a Koran outside the Turkish embassy, and according to Paludan had the idea for the provocative stunt. 

“He has no connection to the Sweden Democrats so there is no reason for us to distance ourselves from him,” he said. 

Frick, who founded and runs the site Nyheter Idag, is also a regular paid contributor to the Sweden Democrat party’s TV Channel Riks TV. 

Swedish vocab: en koppling – a connection