KEY POINTS: What changes in Sweden in October 2023?

TT/AFP/The Local
TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
KEY POINTS: What changes in Sweden in October 2023?
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungarian president Viktor Orbán at during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August. Photo: AP Photo/Denes Erdos via TT

October is a busy month for Sweden, as the police gain new surveillance powers, Nobel Prize recipients are announced, and there could be some movement in Sweden's Nato application. You can also expect one of the highlights of the Swedish culinary calendar.


October 1st: Turkish parliament reopens

On Sunday October 1st, the Turkish parliament reopened after the summer break.

This is relevant for Sweden, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised that he will send the Nordic country's Nato application over to parliament as soon as possible after it reconvenes – even going so far as to shake hands with Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson on it at the Vilnius summit this summer.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean Sweden's Nato membership will be ratified. One issue complicating matters is the fact that the Turkish government wants to buy F16 jets from the USA. The American Congress is holding off on approving the sale until Turkey approves Sweden's Nato membership, which has led to a deadlock.

Add to that the recent Quran burnings in Sweden, which have worsened relations between the two countries, as well as the fact that Erdogan seems to want Sweden to deliver more on combating Kurdish activists in the country which Turkey regards as terrorists, and it is by no means certain that Sweden will be joining Nato any time soon.

Hungary has also yet to ratify Sweden's application, but President Viktor Orbán has previously stated that his country "won't be the last" to approve the Nordic country, so it is likely that Hungary will approve alongside Turkey.

October 1st: Swedish police gain new powers of surveillance to prevent gang crime

On October 1st, new rules governing the terms under which Swedish police are permitted to monitor conversations in order to prevent crimes from occurring came into force.

Before, the only body which was permitted to use these surveillance powers, which include listening in on conversations or phone calls and monitoring suspects with cameras, was the Security Service (Säpo), in order to prevent crimes which threaten Sweden's national security.


Under the new rules, the police will be able to use these measures in cases of typical gang-related crimes, such as murder, abduction, bombs and serious weapon or drug-related crimes.

Permits for using these measures to monitor suspicious activity will also be allowed to be linked to specific people, rather than just specific areas, as is currently the case.

October 2nd-6th: Nobel prizes announced

On Monday October 2nd, the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology kicked off a week of announcements in Sweden, followed by the physics prize on October 3rd, the chemistry prize on October 4th and the literary prize on October 5th. The final Nobel prize, the peace prize, will be announced by the Norwegian Nobel committee in Oslo on Friday October 6th.

The Nobel Prize ceremony takes place in Stockholm each year on December 10th, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

October 4th: Cinnamon Bun Day

Swedes love their cinnamon buns so much they even gave the baked goods their own annual day – kanelbullens dag – which is marked on October 4th each year.

The holiday was invented in 1999 by the Home Baking Council (Hembakningsrådet), a club of baking ingredient producers now run by Danish sugar company Dansukker. The company wanted to create a baking tradition in honour of its 40th anniversary. Click here to find out how to make your own cinnamon buns.

October 11th: Greta Thunberg in court

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will face court again in October, charged with resisting arrest at a protest.

Police forcibly removed the 20-year-old campaigner from a climate rally at a port in Malmö on July 24th.

"The protest was unauthorised and led to traffic being blocked. The young woman refused to obey police order to leave the site," prosecutor Isabel Ekberg said.

"This is therefore a case of refusal to comply."


Hours before the July rally, Thunberg received a court fine after a short trial and conviction for disobeying police at a previous protest at the same port on June 19th.

The rally, organised by environmental activist group Reclaim the Future, tried to block the entrance and exit to the busy port to protest against the use of fossil fuels.

The date for Thunberg's new trial was previously set for September 27th, but will now be held on October 11th instead.

Mid-October: Covid vaccine booster available

The updated Covid vaccine will be offered as a booster to people in certain risk groups in elderly care homes from mid-October, after which it should become available to other groups nationwide in November.

The Public Health Agency currently recommends that people in risk groups and over-65s get the booster vaccine, which gives better protection against the virus variants currently circulating in Sweden, as well as lowering the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.

October 24th: French president Emmanuel Macron visits Sweden

President Emmanuel Macron will visit Sweden on October 24th along with his wife, Brigitte Macron, on invitation from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf.

"The reason behind the state visit is to further strengthen and promote the long, deep and excellent relationship between Sweden and France," the royal court wrote in a press statement.

"It also aims to stimulate deepened cooperation within areas such as innovation and the green transition, as well as defence and security in the area."

A delegation consisting of representatives from French government and business will also join the two-day visit.


October 29th: Clocks go back

Winter time will start on October 29th, lasting until March 31st, 2024.

This means that you'll need to put your clock back an hour at 2am on Sunday October 29th (or whenever you head to bed on the 28th, if you're not too keen on getting up early just to change your clock).

Luckily, this means you'll get an extra hour in bed on Sunday, but the evenings will feel a lot darker after the time change.

Digital clocks on computers or phones should update automatically, but get ready to frantically search for the manual to your oven so you can figure out how to change its display on the 29th.


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