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

Snow warning, new patient fees confirmed, new international rail service, Sweden moves to criminalise membership of terror groups and majority of Finns want to join Nato without Sweden. Here's Sweden's news on Friday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
New patient fees have now been confirmed for 2023. Photo: Isabell Höjman/TT

Yellow warning for snow in southern Sweden

SMHI, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, has issued a yellow warning for snowfall covering large areas of Västra Götaland, Halland, Blekinge as well as parts of Kronoberg, Kalmar, Skåne and Jönköping counties.

Between 5-10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall throughout the day, with up to 15 centimetres expected in some areas.

SMHI has issued a yellow warning for this area, where between 5-15cm snow is expected to fall throughout Friday. Graphic: Johan Hallnäs/TT

It’s expected to cause issues on the roads, such as slippy conditions and bad visibility, as well as a risk of delays and cancelled departures on public transport, and limited accessibility on some roads.

SMHI also warn that the snow could cause issues with electricity production and telephone networks in the affected area.

Snow is also expected for western Svealand, but not enough to cause issues on the roads.

Swedish vocabulary: gul varning för snöfall – yellow warning for snowfall

New rail service planned through Norway, Sweden and Denmark to Hamburg

Sweden’s state-owned railway SJ, along with Denmark’s DSB and Germany’s DB, plans to offer a new international train line which runs between the Norwegian capital Oslo and Hamburg in northern Germany.

The planned route would run daily, departing from Oslo at 8am before making stops in Gothenburg, Malmö and Copenhagen and arriving in Hamburg at 7pm. A service departing Hamburg and terminating in Gothenburg is also planned.

The 11 hour service would be quicker than the equivalent journey using either a car and ferry connection or existing train services.

The planned service will enter into operation in 2027. Petter Essén, head of SJ’s vehicle and traffic programme, said the route made sense as it would connect a long stretch which doesn’t have continuous train traffic.

Swedish vocabulary: tåglinje – train line

POLL: Majority of Finns want to join Nato before Sweden

A majority of Finns want to go it alone and join Nato without Sweden, if the latter country’s membership is delayed, a poll suggested on Thursday, after Turkey said it could accept Finland without Sweden.

More than half of respondents, 53 percent, replied negatively when asked “whether Finland should wait for Sweden” even “if it takes longer to ratify Sweden’s accession, for example because of opposition from Turkey”.

Only 28 percent believed Finland should wait for Sweden and enter the US-led military alliance together.

The poll by Taloustutkimus, published by Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat, surveyed 1,021 Finns between January 30th and February 1st.

Swedish vocabulary: gå med i Nato utan Sverige – join Nato without Sweden

Sweden to make it illegal to be active in a terrorist organisation

Sweden’s government has submitted a new terror bill which could help convince Turkey that the country is acting to crack down on Swedish residents active in the Kurdish PKK terror group.

The new proposal, titled “a special penalty provision for participation in a terrorist organisation”, will make participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation in any way that “promotes, strengthens or supports” the organisation punishable with up to four years in prison.

“This is a wider criminalisation that takes aim at a slew of activities within a terrorist organisation that don’t need to be concretely connected to a specific terrorist crime,” Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer told a press conference.

“Sweden has an increased terrorist threat which must be taken very seriously,” he continued. “Now the government is putting forward a legislative proposal which means that both participation in and financing of participation in terrorist organisations will be punishable.”

Actions such as handling equipment, organising camps or locations for meetings, cooking or being in charge of transport for designated terrorist organisations would be criminalised under the new law, which Strömmer stressed was a “considerable widening of the scope compared to current legislation”.

The government hopes to be able to submit the proposal to parliament on March 7th, and for it to come into force by June 1st.

Swedish vocabulary: terrororganisation – terrorist organisation

Swedish regions approve new patient fees

Sweden’s healthcare regions have now approved this year’s patient fees and high cost protection amount, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR) wrote in a press release.

The Västernorrland region raised the fee for doctor’s visits in primary healthcare and specialised outpatient care from 300 to 330 kronor, with no other regions choosing to do so.

At the turn of the year, the high cost protection amount available for outpatient care was raised in all but one region by 100 kronor to 1,300 kronor, meaning that a patient will pay a maximum of 1,300 kronor per year out-of-pocket for these services before the state steps in to cover the cost.

In Region Uppsala, however, a patient will pay a maximum of 1,200 kronor for outpatient care.

High cost protection for inpatient care is calculated on a daily basis, with patients now paying 120 kronor per day, an extra 10 kronor than last year. There are two regions with different fees for inpatient care: Region Östergotland, where patients pay 100 kronor, and Region Uppsala, where patients pay 110 kronor.

Swedish vocabulary: öppen vård – outpatient care, sluten vård – inpatient care

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For members


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

Swedish minister hits back at climate criticism, tax agency ditches plastic and prosecutors are taking a controversial case to Sweden's Supreme Court. Here's some of the latest news.

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

Fewer teenage mums in Sweden

More children in Sweden are now born to mothers over the age of 45 than under the age of 19, reports the TT newswire, citing figures by number crunchers Statistics Sweden.

A total of 410 children were born to teenage mothers in Sweden last year, and mothers aged 45 or older gave birth to 537 children.

In 1968, almost 8,800 children were born to a teenage mother.

Swedish vocabulary: a mother – en mor, or more commonly, en mamma

Swedish tax agency ditches plastic

This year’s paper version of Sweden’s tax declaration form will not be sent out wrapped in plastic, for environmental reasons, says the Tax Agency.

Those who want to declare their taxes via the paper form are recommended to post it by April 26th so that it reaches the Tax Agency by the final deadline of May 2nd.

It is also possible to file your taxes online, and you can do so even if you haven’t yet received the paper form. Here’s more information, and if you submit it online before March 30th without making changes, you will get any rebate you’re owed in early April.

Swedish vocabulary: tax – skatt

Swedish minister hits back at climate criticism

Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari hit back at criticism that the government is not doing enough to cut Sweden’s emissions of greenhouse gases.

“No one should worry about our ambition. However, you also have to adapt to reality, that the war [in Ukraine] has pushed our fuel prices up enormously in combination with a reduction obligation which has affected supply and demand,” Pourmokhtari told TT, insisting that the government was still working towards its climate targets.

Sweden aims to cut its net emissions to zero by 2045. But a new report by leading climate scientists on the IPCC states that greenhouse gases must be halved globally in seven years to stand a reasonable chance to bring global warming down to 1.5C.

“We don’t believe Sweden’s climate target is in line with the 1.5C target,” TT quoted David Mjureke, an expert for the Swedish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as saying. “But what we’re seeing from the government is instead policies that increase emissions and risk making it impossible to reach the targets.”

Swedish vocabulary: greenhouse gas – växthusgas

Prosecutors take ‘snippa’ case to Sweden’s top court

Swedish prosecutors are taking to the Supreme Court an appeals court’s controversial decision to clear a man of raping a 10-year-old girl, after it could not confirm whether the girl’s use of the word snippa referred to the internal or external female genitals.

They want the Supreme Court – the top court in Sweden – to dig into the responsibility of a court to clarify the terms that are used, especially when it comes to children. Critics have argued that if the judges were confused over the meaning of the word snippa, they should have gone to greater lengths to seek clarity.

Prosecutors also want the Supreme Court to comment on the responsibility of a court to bring up alternative charges even if the prosecutor hasn’t. The man was cleared of rape because it could not be established whether or not he had penetrated the girl with his finger. Critics have said it is possible he could have been convicted of a lower-degree offence such as sexual molestation if he had been charged with that as an alternative.

The Supreme Court has not yet said whether it will try the case.

Swedish vocabulary: Supreme Court – Högsta domstolen