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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
Swedish Education Minister Mats Persson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's Tesla strike spreads across Nordics, Swedish government calls for inquiry into falling Pisa results, and emergency number response times 'too long', report finds. Here's the latest news.

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Swedish court denies Tesla motion over postal dispute 

A Swedish court on Thursday denied a motion by Tesla to temporarily force a mail carrier to deliver licence plates, despite joining strike action against the electric carmaker.

Since October 27th, some 130 mechanics at 10 Tesla repair shops in seven Swedish cities have been striking to protest against the carmaker's refusal to sign a collective agreement with the metalworkers union IF Metall.

The strike has since grown into a larger conflict between Tesla and almost a dozen unions seeking to protect Sweden's labour model, including postal workers.

As licence plates for new cars are only delivered by mail in Sweden, the blockade could stop new Teslas hitting the road there, something Tesla CEO Elon Musk branded "insane".

Swedish vocabulary: a refusal – en vägran

Tesla strike spreads across Nordics

This week, the Tesla strike also started spreading to neighbouring countries and on Thursday the Finnish transport workers union AKT announced it would start blocking the loading of Tesla cars onto ships bound for Swedish ports, starting December 20th.

"It is a crucial part of the Nordic labour market model that we have collective agreements and unions support each other," Ismo Kokko, president of AKT, said in a statement.

The move comes after similar announcements by unions in Denmark and Norway earlier in the week.

Swedish vocabulary: a port – en hamn

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Swedish government calls for inquiry into falling Pisa results

The Swedish government has called for an inquiry after students’ performance in the Pisa education rankings dropped radically in maths and reading between 2018 and 2022, as The Local reported.

Sweden remains above the OECD average and its fall follows a global trend which may be linked to school closures during the pandemic. But according to Pisa representatives, the pandemic is not the full explanation for Sweden, which generally tried to keep schools as open as possible.

“We need to look at what’s happening in our classrooms, and I think the OECD makes a good point about disruption and late arrivals. I also don’t think you’ll meet a single teacher, student or parent who doesn’t think mobile phones take up too much space in the classroom,” Swedish news agency TT quoted Education Minister Mats Persson, of the Liberal party, as saying.

“We need more knowledge. It’s too easy to blame the pandemic. At the end of the day it’s to do with what happens in the classrooms, what the classes look like, what skills the teachers have and what attitudes there are,” he said, announcing that the government would soon order an inquiry.

Swedish vocabulary: a classroom – ett klassrum

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Emergency number waiting times 'too long', report finds

It takes far too long before Sweden’s national emergency number operators SOS Alarm pick up the phone, according to a new investigation by the country’s National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen).

SOS Alarm’s goal is that anyone who dials 112 should be able to speak with someone within eight seconds, but the investigation finds that it has not reached its targets in the past ten years.

Response times also vary depending on where in Sweden you live.

According to the National Audit Office, the number of times a caller has to wait over three minutes is on the increase, which according to SOS Alarm’s own standards could put the patient at risk.

SOS Alarm insists that response times have improved in recent months.

Swedish vocabulary: a response time – en svarstid

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