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Today in Sweden For Members

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

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Thousands of people took part in a demonstration in support of Ukraine, held at Sergels Torg in central Stockholm. Photo: Caisa Rasmussen/TT

Hungary set to ratify Sweden as Nato member, thousands march in support of Ukraine, new statistics reveal Sweden's latest divorce rate, and how many Swedish MPs have done military service? Here's the latest news.

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Hungary set to ratify Sweden as Nato member

The Hungarian parliament is expected to vote yes to Sweden as a Nato member on Monday evening, after nearly two years of blocking the application. Members of parliament are set to meet for the opening session of the season at 1pm, and hold the vote at some point after 4pm.

Assuming the vote passes, the speaker of parliament then has to sign the decision. After that, it has to be flown to Washington DC and be handed over to the US State Department. When Hungary approved Finland as a Nato member, this process took three days.

All that then remains is for Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg to invite Sweden to present its accession document to the US. This could be done by a Swedish representative in Washington, or by handing over the document at a ceremony in Brussels, which Finland did. After that, the flag of Sweden will be hoisted at the Nato headquarters, and the country will officially be a Nato member.

Swedish vocabulary: a vote – en omröstning

How many Swedish MPs have done military service?

Only one in four members of the Swedish parliament (86 out of 349) have done military service, according to the Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency and a survey by the TT news agency. 

The right-wing Christian Democrats are the only party of whose MPs the majority have done military service.

"It's gratifying. We've built a profile as a defence-friendly party," its defence spokesperson Mikael Oscarsson told TT, but conceded that part of the reason may be that a lot of the party's MPs are male and comparatively older than some of their colleagues from other parties. 

Sweden scrapped mandatory conscription for men in 2010, then reintroduced a gender-neutral version seven years later. In practice, military conscription peaked during the height of the Cold War and even before 2010 far from every man in Sweden did military service.

Swedish vocabulary: military service – militärtjänst (or colloquially, lumpen)

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How many people got divorced in Sweden last year?

The proportion of married couples among Sweden's adult population is at its lowest during the 21st century, according to new figures by national number-crunchers Statistics Sweden. Fewer people choose to get married – but fewer people also choose to get divorced.

Last year, a total of 21,231 couples divorced, the lowest figure since 2005.

But last year also saw fewer marriages than any other year in the past two decades, apart from the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

Out of Sweden's 30 biggest municipalities, marriages were the most common in Järfälla, Botkyrka and Södertälje last year. And more people divorced than anywhere else in Haninge, Malmö and Borås.

Swedish vocabulary: to divorce – att skilja sig

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Thousands of Stockholmers march in support of Ukraine

Thousands of people joined a demonstration in Stockholm on Saturday to show their support of Ukraine, two years after Russia's full-scale invasion. Many people were wrapped in Ukrainian flags, and Ukrainian folk songs and Patti Smith's hit People have the Power were played, reported TT.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, of the conservative Moderates, spoke at the demonstration. "We're still here," he said. "On the side of Ukraine, on the side of freedom – however long it takes."

Opposition leader Magdalena Andersson, of the centre-left Social Democrats, also addressed the crowds. "The Russian regime must answer to their war crimes. We will continue to support Ukraine in all possible ways until the last Russian soldier has gone home," she said.

Demonstrations were also held in other Swedish cities on Saturday.

The expectation that Sweden may soon join Nato has reawakened a debate about whether or not Sweden should send some of its Jas Gripen jets to Ukraine. The government has previously said it won't make a decision until Sweden has joined Nato.

Swedish vocabulary: freedom – frihet

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