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

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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visiting the customs agency in Gothenburg. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Weather warning as snowstorm set to batter Sweden, Elon Musk blocks Tesla collective agreement, and priest reprimanded for calling boy n-word. Here's the latest news.


Elon Musk: No collective agreement for Tesla in Sweden

CEO Elon Musk has ordered the Swedish branch of Tesla not to sign a collective bargaining agreement, according to union representatives.

The Swedish metalworkers' union IF Metall has been striking for almost four weeks, with several other unions joining in sympathy strikes, over Tesla's refusal to sign a collective agreement. Around 90 percent of all employees in Sweden are covered by collective agreements.

"They're not allowed to strike a deal. It's an order from Elon Musk. The Swedish company has no freedom to act whatsover," conflict mediator Kurt Eriksson, who has with limited success tried to bring the parties back to the table, told newspaper Dagens Industri. 

"There's nothing to talk about because the order from Tesla is that they are not allowed to sign a collective agreement and IF Metall is saying that we want a collective agreement. It's one thing if they say that we're prepared to work towards a solution, but it's a flat out no," he said.

Swedish vocabulary: a mediator – en medlare

Swedish PM: Drug users responsible for narcotics trafficking

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson visited the customs agency in Gothenburg on Tuesday.

Customs officers have made around 4,300 seizures of illegal narcotics so far this year. 

Cracking down on the illegal drugs market is an essential component of fighting gang crime, said Kristersson, but added that it was just one part of it.

"Fraud, tax crime and welfare crime make up larger chunks than narcotics. That doesn't mean we don't have to stop drugs trafficking, but there are other parts of the criminal economy that are just as important to hit," the TT news agency quoted him as saying.

"Everyone who uses narcotics is responsible for these illegal imports and the fact that they fuel the gangs," he said.

Swedish vocabulary: customs – tullen


Priest reprimanded for calling boy n-word

A priest in south-western Sweden has been warned by the cathedral chapter after he used a racist slur during a football match for children.

In May, he used the n-word to refer to a boy on one of the teams, which was overheard by another spectator.

The priest was reported and admitted that he had said the word, but insisted he only said it to his wife and didn't shout it.

He was given a warning for having damaged the reputation a priest should have. 

"What was said is highly inappropriate. A priest should show respect for their fellow human beings and not discriminate against anyone," Susanne Rappmann, Gothenburg bishop and chair of the cathedral chapter, told Swedish regional public broadcaster SVT Halland.

Swedish vocabulary: a priest – en präst


Weather warning as snowstorm set to batter Sweden

Swedish weather agency SMHI warns of wind, snow and rain in large parts of Sweden on Wednesday. 

Uppland, western Svealand and Norrbotten are some of the regions for which SMHI has issued a yellow warning.

Public transport operator UL warned travellers in the Uppsala region to keep up to date with the latest traffic information, and dress warm.

Swedish vocabulary: public transport – kollektivtrafik

Swedish government seeks to deport foreigners with 'flawed way of life'

A new government inquiry will investigate how foreigners who commit crimes or do not have an 'upstanding way of life' in Sweden could potentially have their residence permit revoked.

The government wants to make it easier to refuse and even revoke permits for foreign residents who have a “flawed way of life”, read a statement that announced the new inquiry on Tuesday.

That could for example include benefits cheating or abusing the welfare system in other ways, having large debts or being involved in or associating with gang crime or terrorist activities.

It could also include statements that threaten democracy or the Swedish system.

Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard mentioned the so-called “LVU campaign” – a campaign that went viral after it spread conspiracy theories that Swedish social services routinely kidnapped Muslim children – as an example.

“It threatens the system in Sweden and affects the social service’s ability to step in to help vulnerable children,” she told reporters.

Swedish vocabulary: flawed way of life – brister i levnadssätt


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