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

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
An explosion at a sugar factory in southern Sweden has brought the country's entire sugar production to a standstill. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish household costs to rise less in 2024 than in 2023, parents on trial in 'vinegar assault' case, why millions of sugar beets are piling up in southern Sweden, and more in the latest news.


Sweden's entire sugar industry down after explosion

Sweden's sugar production industry is at a standstill after an explosion at the country's only sugar factory on Saturday morning. 

No one was injured in the explosion, which is believed to have been caused by pressure building up in a tank, but trains were temporarily halted after bricks and other debris landed on the nearby railway between Lund and Eslöv. 

Up to a million tonnes of sugar beets are now piling up in fields in southern Sweden, reports regional newspaper Sydsvenskan. Sugar production is a major industry in the region and the explosion will affect the country's entire sugar industry indefinitely.

But there's no risk of a sugar shortage ahead of Christmas, according to the CEO of Nordic Sugar.

"We are the only sugar producer in Sweden, but we're also part of the Nordzucker family with skills, resources and sugar production that we can make use of if need be," CEO Johan Neikell told Sydsvenskan.

Swedish vocabulary: a sugar beet – en sockerbeta

Household costs to rise less in 2024 than in 2023

Life in Sweden will get more expensive next year, according to the Swedish Consumer Agency’s estimate of household costs in 2024. But price increases won’t be as high as in 2023, it says.

Households are expected to face high mortgage rates and higher rents, water fees are expected to go up by around 15 percent and food prices by eight percent. But on the other hand, unless the winter is extremely cold or something unforeseen happens, the agency believes that electricity costs will be around 30 percent cheaper.

“Our calculations are not based on any luxury consumption or just the bare necessities. We try to produce as realistic figures as possible. We usually get reactions both from those who think we exaggerate, and from those who think we set the bar too low,” said Consumer Agency officer Kristina Difs in a statement.

Swedish vocabulary: expensive – dyr


Parents on trial in Sweden over assault allegations

The trial of the parents of an eight-year-old girl, who was taken to hospital in Lund last year after she had consumed distilled white vinegar (ättika), which is a common household product but is highly corrosive when consumed in pure form, is under way in southern Sweden.

The girl suffered from heart and liver failure when her father brought her to the emergency room the night before Christmas Eve. Her body temperature was 33.9C. She was described at the time as dying but she survived and although she had to have her stomach removed due to the vinegar damage, she is today understood to be in relatively good health given the circumstances.

The parents are accused of force feeding the girl the vinegar, as well as keeping her strapped in a car seat for children in the laundry room of their house, making her wear a diaper instead of going to the toilet and practically starving her. The mother and father both deny the accusations.

The trial continues.

Swedish vocabulary: a trial – en rättegång


Riksbank warned not to hike interest rate

State-owned mortgage bank SBAB warns Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, not to raise the country’s main interest rate again.

“If the interest rate is raised again we can forget a soft landing. We’ve hit the pain threshold,” Swedish news agency TT quoted SBAB’s economist Robert Boije as saying.

The Riksbank is expected to either raise the interest rate to 4.25 percent on Thursday or hold steady at 4.0 percent, with experts divided on which path the bank is the most likely to choose.

Swedish vocabulary: to raise – att höja


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