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

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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
A woman walks in heavy snow in Stockholm on Tuesday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

Snow leads to traffic chaos, Christian Democrat MEP starts new party, inquiry launched into tougher sick pay rules and other news from Sweden on Wednesday.


Snow leads to traffic jams in western Sweden 

Heavy snowfall around Gothenburg and inland led to long trafffic jams on the E20 motorway and National Road 26, which leads up through the centre of Sweden to the east of Lake Vänern, with police declaring a "major incident". 

Police called on people to avoid the two roads if at all possible, as traffic was in some places stuck for several hours on Tuesday evening. Public buses in Skaraborg, which includes the towns of Lidköping, Mariestad, Skara, and Skövde, were also suspended. 

There were also traffic problems in Östergötland, Örebro och Jönköping counties, with long jams on the National Road 50, and an accident blocking cars travelling north on the E4 south of Gränna early on Tuesday evening. 

Sweden's state weather forecaster expects the weather to start to clear on Wednesday morning, apart from over the islands of Öland and Gotland. 

Swedish vocabulary: långa köer - long queues/traffic jams

Ousted Christian Democrat MEP starts new party 

Sara Skyttedal, the MEP forced to leave the Christian Democrats in January, has announced plans to form a new party to stand in this June's European elections. The so-called Folklistan party  announced its participation on March 27th and has been accepted by the Swedish Election authority. According to the Expressen newspaper, the former Social Democrat MP Jan Emanuel is also thought to be involved in the new party. 

Skyttedal was excluded from the party in January on the grounds that she had approached the Sweden Democrats over switching party, and was replaced in February as the party's lead MEP by Alice Teodorescu Måwe, a newspaper columnist previously connected to the Moderate Party. 

Skyttedal last year shocked party traditionalists when she admitted to smoking cannabis and said she supported legalising the drug. She then accused the party's then group secretary of sexually molesting her at a post election party, leading to his resignation.

Swedish vocabulary:  att anmäla deltagande - to announce your participation


Government seeks tougher rules on sick pay

Sweden's government has launched a new inquiry into tightening rules for sick pay, with tougher requirements brought in after 180 days of sickness. 

The inquiry seeks to undo some of the measures taken to relax sick pay requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic, which ended some of the tougher requirements that came in after 180 days. 

"This is about returning to the old ways," Per Johansson, the statistics professor appointed to lead the inquiry, said in a press release. 

The changes brought in during the pandemic have led to more people being off sick for longer, and fewer coming back to work, increasing the cost of sickness benefits by 2 billion kronor. 

Swedish vocabulary: sjukskrivna - on sickness benefit


'Nytorg man' rapist banned from Södermalm 

The Nytorg man or Nytorgsmannen, a serial rapist released from prison in Sweden in March, has been banned from Södermalm, the location of many of his crimes, under a new law empowering police to ban people from certain districts. 

The 36-year-old man, who was jailed for five years in prison for seven rapes, eight cases of sexual assault, and six cases of sexual molestation, was released in March after serving three quarters of his sentence. 

The man, who now lives in Malmö, Skåne, will be required to wear an ankle monitor until September and is under curfew in the evenings and at night. 

Swedish vocabulary: fotboja - ankle monitor 




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