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

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
From left, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Aid Minister Johan Forssell in New York for a UN summit. Photo: Jonas Cullberg/TT

Swedish finance minister to present 2024 budget bill, fake rumours about sex education in preschools, and Swedish leaders to address Quran burnings at UN summit. Here's the latest news.


Swedish finance minister to present 2024 budget bill

“Sweden’s economy, safety and security are under pressure,” writes Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson in an opinion piece for DN ahead of presenting her budget on Wednesday.

Svantesson describes the budget as “restrained”, with the fight to bring down inflation a central part of the government’s economic policy. The high cost of living is putting a strain on individual households as well as local and regional authorities, which could lead to layoffs.

The budget includes a proposal to earmark 16 billion kronor next year for welfare measures, which has been welcomed by Sweden’s umbrella organisation for local and regional authorities, SKR. However, SKR also says that it’s not enough, and, reports the TT newswire, that municipalities and regions will end up with a total deficit of 28 billion kronor in 2024 if nothing is done to prevent it.

The Local will cover the government’s budget in more depth later today.

Swedish vocabulary: a budget bill/proposal – ett budgetförslag

Fake rumours about sex education in Swedish preschools

False rumours are being spread on social media that Swedish preschools are teaching children about sex, the local authorities in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö warn.

Western Swedish public broadcaster SVT Väst names one of the books the rumours claim is used in preschools as Boken om att knulla (literally, the book about fucking). This is a sex education book aimed at young adults with disabilities, not children. Fake rumours also state that a new curriculum urges preschool-aged children to explore their sexuality, reports public radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio Ekot.

Georg Schwarz, the municipality’s security strategist for Gothenburg preschools, told TT that relatively few parents have got in touch, but that they’re still taking the disinformation campaign seriously.

Asked by TT how sure they are that it’s a disinformation campaign and not just loose rumours, he said: “From our point of view, it’s how the message was initially worded and spread. It doesn’t seem like individual parents are behind these clips. We don’t know more than that right now.”

Swedish vocabulary: a preschool – en förskola


Swedish leaders to address Quran burnings at UN summit

Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Minister Tobias Billström are expected to discuss a spate of Quran burnings with Muslim leaders at a high-level UN summit this week.

“I will take this opportunity to reiterate that the government distances itself from Islamophobic demonstrations and that the actions of individuals are not representative of either the state or the majority population in Sweden. But also that freedom of expression and freedom of religion are important pillars of Swedish society, and that the government is reviewing the law on public order,” TT quoted Billström as saying.

Kristersson said he had also met New York City mayor Eric Adams to discuss the fight against gang crime and gun violence.

Swedish vocabulary: take the opportunity – ta tillfället i akt


Swedish former Green Party leader dies aged 80

Per Gahrton, one of the founders of Sweden's Green Party and one of its first leaders, died overnight between Monday and Tuesday at the age of 80. The Green Party was founded in 1981 after Gahrton floated the idea in an opinion piece following Sweden's nuclear referendum.

Over his long career, Gahrton represented the Green Party in parliament as well as the European Parliament. He was critical of the EU and argued against joining the union in Sweden's referendum in 1994. Before his Green Party career, he was a member of the Liberals.

"Per has meant so much to me and for so many others who are fighting for a better world," said outgoing party leader Per Bolund.

Swedish vocabulary: Green Party – Miljöpartiet


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