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

TT/AFP/The Local
TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Sweden's Energy, Business and Industri Minister Ebba Busch. Photo: Lars Schröder/TT

Sweden plans huge nuclear investment, top court to rule on controversial 'snippa' case and what's next as Tesla strike set to expand? Here's that and much more in the latest news.

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Sweden plans huge investment in nuclear power

Sweden's government plans to massively ramp up nuclear energy production in order to advance the country's energy transition and meet its growing demand for electricity.

The government on Thursday presented a new roadmap outlining increased production equivalent to two nuclear reactors by 2035 at the latest, with a "massive expansion" to follow by 2045.

Energy minister Ebba Busch said the plan would be a further step towards Sweden "becoming a strong nuclear nation again".

"In the next 25 years, we must double Sweden's electricity production," she added at a press conference.

Swedish vocabulary: nuclear – kärnkraft

Sweden's top court to rule on controversial 'snippa' case

When Sweden's appeals court threw out a guilty verdict in a child rape case over the meaning of snippa, a child's word for a vagina, it caused a scandal in Sweden. The Supreme Court, the top court in the country, was on Friday set to rule on the case. 

Despite agreeing with the district court that the man had touched the girl between her legs and inserted his finger into her snippa, the appeals court in February found that it could not be determined whether the girl was referring to her vulva or to her vagina.

If the man had inserted his finger into her vagina, that would have met the standard to be classified as rape. But because the girl said that his finger was “far in”, but could not state exactly how far, the appeals court found that it could not establish beyond doubt that the man had inserted his finger in her vagina and not her vulva. It therefore threw out the verdict and cleared the man of the charge.

The Supreme Court has not retried the entire case; it has only looked at whether or not the appeals court made an error when it did not consider a lower-grade charge such as sexual abuse or molestation, which it is possible the incident could have been classified as.

Swedish vocabulary: supreme court – högsta domstolen (HD)

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What's next as Tesla strike set to expand?

A sympathy strike by the Swedish Transport Workers’ union in support of metalworkers’ union IF Metall’s ongoing strike at Tesla will be extended to cover all ports in Sweden from today. It means that no cars by the US manufacturer will be loaded or unloaded at any of Sweden’s around 50 ports.

It’s unclear how big of an effect the strike is having, with IF Metall accusing Tesla of using strike breakers to keep operations going at its service centres around Sweden. But not all of the strike measures have yet taken effect, with several other unions having advertised upcoming action.

On Friday, the Swedish Building Maintenance Workers’ union will order its members to join the strike, which means they will not do any cleaning work at several Tesla offices, and the electricians' union will refuse to carry out service or repairs at workshops or charging stations.

From Monday, several unions involved in the postal delivery industry will refuse to deliver mail or parcels to Tesla, and from Monday the painters’ union will refuse to work on Tesla vehicles.

IF Metall has been striking at Tesla since the end of October over the company's refusal to sign a collective bargaining agreement.

Swedish vocabulary: a strike – en strejk

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Turkey's ratification of Sweden's Nato bid hit by new delay

Turkey's foreign affairs committee on Thursday postponed a vote on Sweden's Nato accession to a later date, with the official explanation being that the issue had not "matured" enough.

"For all of our lawmakers to approve Sweden's Nato membership, they need to be fully convinced. We will discuss all of these in our (next) commission meeting (on the issue)," chairman of the committee Fuat Oktay said, according to Reuters.

The original plan was for the committee to either approve or reject Sweden's bid to join Nato after the debate, but after hours of lively discussion, two members of the governing party adjourned proceedings until an unspecified later date.

Swedish vocabulary: to postpone – att skjuta upp

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Breaking into Swedish housing market getting harder and harder

Although it takes roughly the same amount of time to save up enough money for a deposit as it did ten years ago, other factors have raised the threshold for young people and newcomers looking to enter Sweden’s property market.

For young adults earning around 28,000 kronor, it takes around 3-5 years to save up enough money for a deposit on a small apartment in one of Sweden’s major cities, a new report by Handelsbanken states, which is roughly the same amount of time as it took in 2013.

Having said that, other factors have made it more difficult for newcomers to break into Sweden’s housing market, and prospective buyers now need to earn more than Sweden’s median income in order to afford a small apartment in the capital, according to the report.

Swedish vocabulary: the housing market – bostadsmarknaden

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