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

TT/AFP/The Local
TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Police are investigating an explosion in Farsta, south of Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Seven injured in two explosions in Stockholm, Swedish regions to get six billion kronor healthcare boost, and Sweden's arms exports rose 18 percent last year. Here's the latest news.

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Seven injured in two explosions in Stockholm

Five people received minor injuries after an explosion in the stairs of an apartment building in Fagersjö, on the outskirts of Farsta in southern Stockholm, on Monday evening. Three were taken to hospital but were expected to be able to leave hospital the same evening.

An apartment door and windows were damaged in the blast.

"There was a person at home in the apartment, but he didn't appear to be injured," a police spokesperson told the TT newswire.

Police were called out to the incident at 8.30pm. It is being formally investigated as "destruction causing public endangerment" (allmänfarlig ödeläggelse), but it was not immediately known exactly what caused the explosion.

Then at around 4am on Tuesday, two people received minor injuries in an outdoor explosion on Stockholm's Lidingö island.

A man who was recently charged in connection with a murder attempt in Jordbro is registered as living at the address, reports TV4 Nyheterna.

Swedish vocabulary: injuries – skador

Swedish regions to get six billion kronor healthcare boost

The government is earmarking an extra six billion kronor to healthcare in the upcoming spring amendment budget.

Conservative Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told a press conference that the financial crisis the Swedish regions are experiencing is in the short term due to inflation pushing up the cost of pensions, and in the long term to structural problems and "growing bureaucracy".

Healthcare is run on a regional basis in Sweden, and Kristersson urged regional authorities to use the six billion kronor to prevent widespread layoffs of healthcare staff. "Short-term economic efforts won't be enough," he said at the press conference.

Sweden's centre-left opposition, including the Social Democrats' Magdalena Andersson, described the news as "a fiasco" which would lead to fewer healthcare workers. The regions have previously reported a total deficit of 24 billion kronor in 2024. 

"It's not the state's job to cover the regions' combined deficit," said Jimmie Åkesson, who joined the four-party press conference on Monday as the leader of the Sweden Democrats, the far-right party on whose support Kristersson's right-wing coalition government relies.

Swedish vocabulary: healthcare – sjukvård

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Swedish government moves to implement three-year deadline for SFI

New students of Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) courses would have three years to complete the programme under a new draft proposal by Sweden’s government.

The time limit is partly due to the fact that the number of students who complete the SFI programme is low, the government wrote in a press statement. The new time limit would last for three years from the date at which a student is accepted onto a course.

There would be exceptions, with students who have “special reasons” able to apply for extensions of six months at a time, up to a maximum of three years, giving them a maximum six years to complete the course.

Although this specific proposal is the result of a collaboration between the Liberals, Moderates, Christian Democrats and Sweden Democrats, it was originally put forward by the previous centre-left government in 2020.

The proposal will now be sent to the Council on Legislation to ensure it's in line with the Swedish constitution.

Swedish vocabulary: Swedish for Immigrants – Svenska för invandrare

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Stolen data from Swedish hospital for sale on dark web

Information stolen from Stockholm's Sophiahemmet hospital in a cyber attack last week has been listed for sale on the dark web by a hacker group.

"We're trying to figure out how much and what kind of data this is about," Sophiahemmet head of communications Pia Hultkrantz told TT newswire.

According to tech newspaper Ny Teknik, hacker group Medusa has now listed the data for sale on its website on the dark web, where it is asking for a million US dollars to delete the data. The group has also published what's known as a proof of compromise, showing what kind of data the group has obtained.

The dark web is a hidden part of the internet which requires special software, configurations or authorisations to access. Search results from the dark web do not appear on search engines.

Swedish vocabulary: for sale – till försäljning

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Sweden arms exports rose 18 percent in 2023

Sweden's arms exports reached 1.6 billion euros last year as the Russia-Ukraine war drove a search for weaponry, a government agency said.

Most of the exports went to European Union countries and 39 countries which Sweden cooperates with, the Swedish Inspectorate for Strategic Products (ISP) said in a statement.

Sweden has a growing defence industry with Saab making the Gripen fighter jet, the Global Eye surveillance aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

The top 10 destinations for Swedish arms exports are the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, Norway, France and the Czech Republic.

Turkey also benefited from Swedish arms, according to ISP, with exports in 2023 worth four million kronor (356,000 euros).

In 2019, Stockholm introduced restrictions on arms sales to Ankara in response to Turkey's military incursion into Syria.

The embargo was lifted following negotiations between the two countries during Sweden's Nato accession process.

Swedish vocabulary: arms exports – vapenexport

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