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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 Wednesday

How stable are Swedish banks, who runs Sweden's local authorities, and is the English language a threat to Swedish? Here's that and more in the latest news on Wednesday.

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

Who runs Sweden’s municipalities?

They may frequently be at odds in Sweden’s national parliament, but the right-wing Moderates and left-wing Social Democrats cooperate more and more on a municipal level, a new report by the umbrella organisation for Sweden’s local authorities shows.

Eighty-six out of Sweden’s 290 municipalities are now run by various kinds of coalitions.

The most common coalition (27 municipalities) is made up of the parties of the former centre-right Alliance: the Moderates, Centre, Liberals and Christian Democrats.

But the second most common (20 municipalities) is a cross-bloc coalition of the Social Democrats and Moderates, who are often seen as the two main rivals in Swedish politics.

Swedish vocabulary: a municipality – en kommun

Hungary to ratify Finland on Monday – but not Sweden

Hungary is set to ratify Finland’s Nato membership on Monday, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg confirmed. Sweden will however have to wait.

Hungary and Turkey are the only two countries that have yet to ratify Sweden’s Nato membership. The former has said that it plans to accept Sweden, and it was not immediately clear why Sweden would not be part of the vote on Monday.

“They will continue [the process with Sweden], but won’t [vote] on Monday,” Swedish news agency TT quoted Stoltenberg as telling reporters on Tuesday.

Swedish vocabulary: a membership – ett medlemsskap

Swedish banks not in need of liquidity support

Swedish banks are stable and will manage without crisis aid, said Riksbank chief Erik Thedéen, after struggling banks in Switzerland and the US stirred global concern.

“Swedish banks have no liquidity problems today,” TT quoted him as saying after a meeting of senior finance representatives in Sweden on Tuesday.

Daniel Barr, head of Finansinspektionen, Sweden’s financial market watchdog, also said that there was little risk that similar problems would spread to Sweden.

But he added: “We should be humble, because we haven’t seen the last of this. Things could change in a week or two.”

Swedish vocabulary: humble – ödmjuk

Do Swedes consider the English language a threat to Swedish?

Around 33 percent of Swedes in a new study from Novus on behalf of Språktidningen said that they felt that English represented a threat to Swedish, although almost twice as many – 63 percent – answered that English did not pose any threat to Swedish.

“English influences are often singled out as a threat to the future of Swedish,” said Anders Svensson, editor-in-chief of language magazine Språktidningen. “However, there’s a generational divide in the view on English.”

“Among Swedes over 65, a total of 51 percent see English as a threat. Among those aged 30 to 49, only 23 percent see English as a threat.”

Swedish vocabulary: a threat – ett hot