Today in Sweden For Members

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

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
A snowstorm in Sundsvall, Norrland, at the turn of the month. Photo: Mats Andersson/TT

Northern Sweden sees coldest October in 30 years, senior Sweden Democrat loses top role, anti-Semitism on the rise, and a heartwarming story about a public library in Gothenburg. Here's the latest news.


Coldest October in 30 years 

Northern Sweden locally had its on average coldest month of October in 30 years, according to weather agency SMHI, with average temperatures in some parts of the very far north dropping to five degrees colder than normal. 

Nikkaluokta recorded the single coldest day, -25.7C on October 30th – the lowest October temperature since 2006.

Kristianstad in the far south of Sweden on the other hand had the country's warmest day: 19.8C on October 3rd.

Swedish vocabulary: cold – kall

Senior Sweden Democrat MP to lose role on party board

Senior Sweden Democrat MP Björn Söder will not be nominated by the party's election committee for its board, the Svenska Dagbladet daily (SvD) reports. The formal vote on who will make up the party's board – or in other words, the top leadership of the party – will be taken at the next party convention at the end of November, although in practice the election committee's recommendations are usually followed.

"I haven't heard anything yet but after 22 years on the board I have nothing against stepping back. Considering all of my other roles and family with small children, it's difficult to find enough time for the board," Söder told SvD in an email. 

Söder is a senior member of the far-right party, but is also known for courting controversy. Earlier this year he accused Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, whose Moderate-led coalition relies on the support of the Sweden Democrats, for "legitimising pedophilia" by supporting Stockholm Pride. Söder has held several high-profile roles, including as its group leader in parliament and deputy speaker of parliament.

Swedish vocabulary: election committee – valberedning


Anti-Semitic hate crimes on the rise in Sweden

A total of 57 suspected hate crimes with anti-Semitic motives have been reported to Swedish police in the past month, following increasing tension due to the war between Israel and Hamas, reports the TT news agency. That's an increase of 46 percent in one month.

"It's a clear increase which follows what we're seeing in other countries. It's increasing everywhere," Per Engström, section head at the national police, told TT.

Both Hamas supporters and neo-Nazis are behind much of the rising anti-Semitism in Sweden. 

"We're seeing two sides that have united, and you can for example see right-wing extremists take part in pro-Palestinian demonstrations," said Engström.

Police have received nine reports of hate crimes with suspected Islamophobic motives in the past month, compared to seven the month before.

Swedish vocabulary: a hate crime – ett hatbrott


Heartwarming story about Gothenburg's public library goes viral

A story from Gothenburg has gone viral in Sweden after the city's public library accidentally left one of its doors unlocked on a day when it was supposed to be closed – with staff returning only to find that more than 400 people had visited the library and borrowed 245 books.

All Saints' Day, this year on November 4th, is a public holiday in Sweden, but as the library is normally open on Saturdays and most Swedes don't really observe All Saints, visitors simply hadn't understood that the library was closed when they were able to get in through the door.

The library's head of operations, Anna Carin Elf, told public radio broadcaster P4 Göteborg that people were behaving as normal when she was alerted to the mistake and arrived at the library. Some were reading newspapers, families were in the children's area, and some were looking up books on the computers. She said some did express surprise that the library seemed unusually empty (due to the lack of staff).

"Nothing was destroyed. It's amazing that Gothenburgers enter an empty library and treat it so lovingly," said Elf.

Swedish vocabulary: a library – ett bibliotek

Swedish city launches campaign to get locals to say hi

The city authorities in Luleå in the far north of Sweden have launched a campaign to encourage its famously reserved citizens to say hello to one another a little more often, in campaign literally called "say hi" ("säg hej").

Åsa Koski, the municipal social strategist behind the campaign, told The Local that the hope was that increasing the incidence of greeting in the city would improve the atmosphere.

"I think we are a bit more withdrawn than in the south of Sweden," she explained.

"We also see that outside the city, they're much better at saying 'hello' to each other than we are in Luleå, and – I don't have any evidence for this – but I think we used to also be better at saying 'hello' to each another back in the old days."

Swedish vocabulary: withdrawn – tillbakadragna (plural)


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also