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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
The border office at Rafah between Gaza and Egypt in early November. Photo: AP Photo/Hatem Ali

Liberals launch new euro campaign, 150 Swedes evacuate Gaza, truth commission to shed light on abuse of Tornedalians, and much more in the latest news in Sweden.


Liberals to launch new euro campaign

Sweden’s Liberal party is launching a designated euro office which will coordinate the party’s campaign to convince Sweden to adopt the euro currency by 2028, reports the TT news agency.

“We want to gather all like-minded people, who are interested in productivity, security and Sweden having influence over its own future,” the newswire quoted Liberal leader Johan Pehrson as saying.

“The purpose of the euro is only one. It’s to secure our grandchildren’s prosperity,” he said. “The other parties will sooner or later, preferably sooner, join our stance.”

The Liberals strive to be the most EU-friendly party in the Swedish parliament, but with 16 members of parliament they’re also the smallest party. Sweden is a member of the EU but in 2003 voted no in a referendum to swapping the krona for the euro.

Swedish vocabulary: a currency – en valuta

150 Swedes evacuate Gaza

Around 150 Swedes have so far been able to leave Gaza via the border crossing at Rafah, the Swedish foreign ministry confirmed to TT. Around 85 of them evacuated on Tuesday.

“The foreign ministry has today, Tuesday November 14th, been told that another 100 Swedes will be given the opportunity to cross the border tomorrow,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.

More than 500 people with Swedish citizenship or residency have contacted the foreign ministry to request help to leave Gaza, after Hamas’ terror attack sparked a series of Israeli retaliation attacks.

Swedish vocabulary: an opportunity – en möjlighet


Truth commission to shed light on abuse of Tornedalians

A truth and reconciliation commission about past abuses of the Tornedalian minority in Sweden is set to present its final report to Culture Minister Parisa Liljestrand on Wednesday.

Tornedalians are one of Sweden's recognised minority groups. They get their name from the Torne River Valley, an area along the border between Finland and Sweden.

The language Meänkieli – a Finnic language or group of Finnish dialects – is traditionally spoken by people from the valley region, although many now live in different parts of Sweden.

As with other Swedish minorities, Tornedalians were subjected to Swedish eugenics programmes and policies of forced assimilation.

For example, children were punished if heard speaking Meänkieli at school, and many were subjected to skull measurements at school, in experiments apparently based on the now-debunked pseudoscience of craniometry, which was used as a way of classifying different races.

The truth commission was set up by the previous centre-left government in 2020.

Swedish vocabulary: truth and reconciliation – sanning och försoning


Turkey moves closer to ratification of Swedish Nato application

Turkey's foreign policy committee will vote on Thursday on whether to approve Sweden’s Nato application, it said in an update posted on its website, moving Sweden's membership one step closer to ratification.

“Obviously, we welcome this news,” Swedish defence minister Pål Jonson told reporters on Tuesday. “It is in line with the agreement we had with Turkey in July that ratification would occur as soon as possible. We need to become members as soon as we can.”

If there are no delays to the process, the Turkish parliament could ratify Sweden’s application next week, on the 20th or 21st of November.

After parliament’s decision, Erdogan will have to formally approve ratification before the document can be sent to Washington.

Hungary and Turkey are the only Nato countries left which need to approve Sweden’s application, and Hungarian president Viktor Orbán has pledged previously that his country will not be the last to ratify.

Swedish vocabulary: a membership – ett medlemskap


 Swedish university bans political rallies and posters

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is banning all political demonstrations and posters on campus, said university bosses in a statement.

“Due to the turbulent global situation and the highly polarised social climate, Chalmers has decided not to allow political manifestations on campus, or in our premises. This is to safeguard the work environment and safety for our students and employees,” reads the statement, written by university president and CEO Martin Nilsson Jacobi and the president of the student union, Isabelle Jarl.

Other universities in the area, such as Gothenburg University and University West are public bodies, and they have not introduced a general ban against political protests. Chalmers, founded in 1829, is owned by a foundation and has more freedom to set its own rules.

Swedish vocabulary: to ban – att förbjuda

Sweden Democrats agree to back government climate targets

The Sweden Democrats, who the coalition government relies on for support, have in a U-turn for the party given their backing to Sweden’s zero-emission target for 2045.

“Unlike before, the whole bloc of parties supporting the government is now backing Sweden’s climate goals,” Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari said in a press conference.

The four parties – the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Sweden Democrats, also known as the Tidö parties after the country manor where they signed their coalition agreement – will now work together with the goal of reaching net-zero in 2045, she added.

Swedish vocabulary: a U-turn – en u-sväng / en helomvändning


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