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

The Local Sweden
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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Sweden Democrat leader hits back at criticism over mosque comments, weather warning as blizzard set to batter north-eastern Sweden, and court rules in Tesla's favour in provisional decision. Here's the latest news.

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Weather warning as snowstorm set to batter north-eastern Sweden

Sweden's weather agency SMHI warns of heavy snow along the east coast on Tuesday, from just south of Luleå to Gävle.

It has issued an orange warning for the area around Umeå and Skellefteå, which is expected to bear the brunt of the blizzard, with around 15-30 centimetres of snow expected to fall in 24 hours. People living in the area should prepare for power cuts and traffic chaos.

If you do have to head out on the roads, make sure your car is equipped for the wintery weather.

Swedish vocabulary: a blizzard – en snöstorm

Far-right leader hits back at criticism over mosque comments

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson slammed criticism of a speech in which he called for a moratorium on building new mosques in Sweden and argued that mosques should be demolished if they spread “anti-democratic, anti-Swedish, homophobic or anti-Semitic propaganda”. In his speech he also said that Islamic symbols such as “minaret, domes, crescents” should be dismantled.

After broad criticism including from Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, whose Moderate-led coalition relies on the support of the far-right Sweden Democrats, Åkesson appeared to backtrack, but also hit back at the criticism, saying that his views should not be controversial.

“It won’t necessarily be the case that we have to demolish existing buildings. It may be enough to, as has been done in France for example, close mosques where extremism is thriving and deport hate-preaching imams,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the Aftonbladet tabloid.

Swedish vocabulary: a speech – ett tal

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Swedish court rules in Tesla's favour in interim ruling

A court has ordered the Swedish Transport Agency to allow Tesla to collect number plates directly from the plate manufacturer, in a provisional decision pending a final ruling on the rights of the car manufacturer to receive its plates despite the courier striking.

IF Metall, Sweden's metalworkers union, launched a strike at the end of October in protest at the company's refusal to strike a collective bargaining agreement with around 130 mechanics at its workshops. A sympathy strike by postal workers in support of unionised Tesla workers put a stop to deliveries of number plates to its workshops in Sweden earlier this month, meaning it can no longer sell new cars. 

Tesla responded by filing a lawsuit against the Transport Agency and postal service Postnord. The Transport Agency had argued that due to procurement contracts, it was unable to use another courier to deliver number plates to Tesla. On Monday the court ruled that the agency had seven days to agree to let Tesla collect its plates directly from the plate manufacturer, instead of having them delivered.

"Our plate manufacturer has announced that it is prepared to supply the plates directly to Tesla, provided that the Swedish Transport Agency agrees," the Transport Agency told the AFP newswire, adding that it was assessing the consequences of this court ruling.

Swedish vocabulary: a court – en domstol

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Nato chief tells Turkey 'time has come' to let Sweden join

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said Turkey should approve Sweden's stalled bid for membership "as soon as possible".

"Sweden has delivered on what they promised and now the time has come for Turkey to finalise the accession process," Stoltenberg said.

Turkey and Hungary are the only Nato members to not yet have ratified Sweden joining the alliance more than 18 months after it applied for membership.

The Turkish parliament started this month to debate Sweden's bid to join after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched the process following a deal at a Nato summit in July.

But the process is still at the committee level in the Turkish parliament.

Swedish vocabulary: to deliver – att leverera

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