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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
A woman looks at the burned-out Oceana water attraction at the Liseberg theme park in Gothenburg. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

One person missing after fire inferno at Gothenburg's Liseberg amusement park, Moderate politician faces calls for resignation after sexist and racist jokes, and former Social Democrat to stay on as independent MP. Here's the latest news.

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One person missing after Gothenburg theme park fire

One person was reported missing after a fire broke out on Monday at Sweden's largest amusement park, engulfing a newly built water park in flames, authorities said.

Police and the park owners said they were searching for one worker at the Liseberg Amusement Park in central Gothenburg.

Police evacuated a hotel and offices connected to the amusement park and warned households in the area to remain indoors due to smoke.

The fire originated at one of the water attractions" outside the water park's main building "and then spread throughout the building", Liseberg said in a statement.

The cause of the fire was unknown, however police said the incident was being investigated as a "workplace accident".

Swedish vocabulary: missing – saknas

Senior Moderate politician faces calls for resignation over sexist and racist jokes

Johan Abrahamsson, chairman of the Moderate Party in the Västra Götaland region, is set to take a leave of absence after local public radio broadcaster P4 Skaraborg revealed he had shared several sexist and racist jokes in private chats, including homophobic content. 

Abrahamsson first defended the jokes as "ordinary bawdy humour", but later said he regretted them.

Several people within the party are now calling for his resignation. 

"We don't think this behaviour is OK and it's not something you can sweep under the rug," Per Malm, chairman of the Moderates' local branch in Mölndal, told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper. The Moderate mayor of Grästorp also urged Abrahamsson to step down.

Abrahamsson, who is also the mayor of Mariestad, is one of the conservative Moderates' biggest local names.

Swedish vocabulary: resignation – avgång

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Former Social Democrat to stay on as independent MP

Jamal El-Haj, the now-former Social Democrat MP who has been under fire ever since he attended the European Palestinians Conference in his home town in Malmö in May, has decided to keep his seat in parliament as an independent, despite the party urging him to step down.

"This is unacceptable behaviour from Jamal El-Haj and further proof he's putting his own interests before those of the party," Lena Hallengren, group leader of the Social Democrats in parliament, told Swedish news agency TT in a written statement.

"Someone who isn't a member of the Social Democrats can't have a seat in the Social Democrats' parliamentary group," she added.

It's possible for elected members of parliament to quit their party but stay on as an independent, not representing any party.

In a letter sent to the party, El-Haj wrote, as quoted by TT:

"It wouldn't be right towards our voters and Swedish democracy to leave my post. (...) I have been a loyal Social Democrat for over 30 years and I'm still convinced that Social Democracy is the best thing to happen to Sweden in modern times."

"I am, and will continue to be, loyal to Sweden and the Swedish people and to the Palestinian people. It is possible to love two peoples, it is possible to be both Swedish and Palestinian," he added.

Swedish vocabulary: an independent MP – en politisk vilde (literal translation: a political savage)

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When will you get your Swedish pension statement?

Everyone who lives and works in Sweden will soon receive their annual statement that reveals the size of their future Swedish pension.

The pension statement, which is usually simply referred to as “the orange envelope” (det orange kuvertet), was sent to pensioners in mid-January – and from this week it is starting to drop into the mailboxes of everyone who has not yet retired.

You don’t need to do anything when you get it; it just contains information. But it is a good idea to keep on top of your future savings, whether you’re in Sweden for the long run or not. This article by The Local explains when you can expect to receive your orange envelope.

Swedish vocabulary: a pension statement – ett pensionsbesked

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