🇸🇪 Left behind?
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|March 15, 2023||Sign Up|
Good morning! Today is Wednesday. In today’s Riedia Sweden Morning Digest, we're covering:
The risk of Finland joining NATO alone, Sweden's rejection of the EU budget, and a historic record for violent crime.
– Julia Powanda, Carlos Lago, Paul Chen
Sweden's NATO Application
🇫🇮 Finland may join NATO before Sweden
The probability of Finland joining NATO before Sweden is much higher, according to the Swedish government.
According to former Primer Minister Magdalena Andersson, leader of the Social Democrats (S), this wouldn't be good for Sweden. She believes that bringing in new members would be a setback for NATO's open-door policy. At the same time, she claims that a split between Sweden and Finland would benefit Russia as it would increase Sweden's vulnerability.
Not everyone is worried
In the meantime, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) claims that Sweden would be safer in the short term if Finland went ahead with NATO membership, because it would lead to a shorter period of time before Sweden gets approved as well.
But according to Andersson, "many people in Sweden are worried after this Prime Minister's announcement today about the increased risk that Finland will join NATO before Sweden," she added that she fears that Sweden may end up in a limbo and will not be a member by this July's NATO summit.
by Niklas Svahn/TT, Peter Wallberg/TT | edited by Riedia
🇪🇺 Sweden says no to EU budget
Despite its role as Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Sweden has rejected the discharge of the EU budget for 2021.
According to the Minister of Finance, Elisabeth Svantesson (M), it was developed in the wrong direction and it is not enough for growth.
This year Denmark and the Netherlands are also expected to vote no.
What is expected
Sweden, as the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, has negotiated the views of the EU countries ahead of the proposal for a new framework that the European Commission is expected to present in April.
European Ministers are expected to discuss and work together then to adapt measures and give countries space and time to deal with large public debt and budget deficits, but also about actually implementing growth measures, rather than just delivering warnings.
Sweden regularly voted against the budget until 2018 (for the 2016 budget), but has instead chosen to abstain over the last four years. Until now.
by Wiktor Nummelin/TT | edited by Riedia
🚨 Violent crime in Stockholm: Historic record
Since the wave of violence began in Stockholm in December 2022, around 100 weapons have been seized and 73 people have been arrested for serious violent crimes.
The seized weapons include guns, automatic carbines, detonators, hand grenades, 3D-printed weapons, and dynamite.
There have been nearly 30 shootings in the Stockholm region this year, resulting in the death of five people.
Record numbers detained
"I've worked in the police for 30 years and I don't think I've ever seen anywhere near this many detentions and seizures," says Niclas Andersson, operations manager at the police's department for special investigations.
"We have a record in the number of prisoners in the Stockholm region right now," says Andersson.
by TT | edited by Riedia
🚢 Hard time for migrants along the Mediterranean
During the first two months of the year, almost 12 000 illegal border crossings were made in the Central Mediterranean, a deadly migration route. This figure is double compared to the corresponding period last year, according to the EU Border Police Frontex. The migration route in the Central Mediterranean – the area between Italy, Sardinia, and Tunisia – was the most widely used in the EU during the first two months of the year, according to Frontex .
This route is by far one of the most dangerous, and migrants are well aware. However, for many, the alternatives – persecution, abuse, and extreme poverty – are perceived as even worse. Some say they'd rather die at sea than go back. It's not that they don't know the risks but that they just don't see any other way out. In February, there were 7 000 illegal border crossings in the area, three times more than a year ago; most of those discovered trying to cross the border came from Syria, Côte d'Ivoire, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Making work more difficult
As spring approaches, the number of people seeking Europe, including Sweden, through unreliable and directly dangerous roads and fairways is expected to increase as weather conditions improve.
According to a report from Save the Children earlier in February, over 8.400 migrants on their way to Europe have drowned in the Mediterranean over the past four years.
According to the organization, around half a million refugees have tried to cross the Mediterranean since 2019. However, an October 2022 report by the UN migration agency IOM notes that the death toll is likely to be much higher than reported.
This is all happening while Migrationsverket, as well as other agencies across Europe, are toughening their policies and requirements for refugees and immigrant workers.
by Katri Artta Svarfvar/TT, Klas Widestrand/TT | edited by Riedia
What else is happening in Sweden?
👷 Despite the weaker economic activity, there is still a strong labor market in Sweden. At the end of February, more than 341,000 people were registered as unemployed, corresponding to an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. This compares with 7.2 percent in the same month last year. At the same time, the number of new vacancies remains high. In February, 188,900 vacancies were reported in Platsbanken.
💸 The Riksbank still intends to raise interest rates by 25–50 points in April, according to Governor Erik Thedéen, in an effort to signal that authorities are doing what is necessary to bring down inflation. The Riksbank's assessment is that there is no risk nor threat to the financial stability in Sweden.
🪨 The state will compensate Nordkalk with SEK 625 million in a mining dispute. Nordkalk demanded SEK 2.8 billion in the dispute after the government retracted its permit for a limestone quarry in the Ojnareskogen forest on northern Gotland. Originally the Land and Environment Court granted both Nordkalk and SMA Mineral permission for quarrying in 2014. However, the following year the legal situation changed following the government's decision to make the Stora Vikers and Bästeträsk areas EU nature reserves.
What is happening in the world?
🇨🇳 It is now possible to visit China again as a foregin visitor. Starting Wednesday, Chinese authorities will once again issue a variety of visas to foreigners wishing to enter China. In recent months, the country has taken different steps to reopen its borders after the pandemic. In addition to processing new visas, people who received visas before March 28th, 2020 that are still valid will be allowed to enter China. In 2019, China received 65.7 million international visitors, according to data from the UN World Tourism Organization.
🇦🇲 Armenia 's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinjan has recently become increasingly critical of the Russian-led military alliance ODKB (CSTO in English), which he believes has failed in the promise to protect Armenia in the ongoing conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. When new deadly battles broke out in the region last autumn Armenia appealed to the ODKB for help – without being heard, despite Russia having a permanent military base in the country. The Kremlin's involvement in the Caucasus is reported to have diminished after the Russian military became busy in Ukraine. During a press conference on Tuesday, the Armenian Prime Minister stated that the risk of an escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh is "very high" and Azerbaijan's rhetoric is becoming increasingly aggressive.
💥 A US drone has crashed into the Black Sea after a confrontation with Russian fighter jets. The incident is the first known instance of a US Air Force drone being in direct confrontation with Russian warplanes since Russia invaded Ukraine. According to the US military command in Europe, the US drone, model MQ-9 Reaper, collided with a Russian Su-27 attack plane over international waters. The US condemned the incident and accused Russia of "reckless" behavior.
🎿 Swedish biathlete Tilda Johansson gave up her extra place for the World Cup in Holmenkollen after falling ill, allowing Sara Andersson to make her debut . Several other Swedish athletes are also unable to compete due to illness, meaning that Ella Halvarsson and Henning Sjökvist will also make their world cup debuts. The competitions will include a sprint and a mass start event for both men and women.
🏒 Finnish ice hockey star Antti Suomela was presented as a Lausanne player for next season just hours before Oskarshamn's playoff game against Luleå. Oskarshamn general manager, Thomas Fröberg, expressed his frustration at the ill-timing of the announcement.
🐎 Swedish dressage rider Patrik Kittel has decided to sit out of the World Cup final in Omaha despite qualifying, citing the long journey to the USA not fitting with his plans for the horses. Instead, he plans to compete in Aachen, Germany. The World Cup Finals of Riding will be held from April 4th to 8th.
🎦 Asian Film Festival 2023 : It is the second weekend of AFF, where you will find three martial arts films by the Taiwanese master King Hu from March 17th to March 19th. His films about the Ming Dynasty in China, starring iconic actress Hsu Feng, are today considered fundamental masterpieces of martial arts film. The films will be screened in Grand Stockholm.
🤘 John Fogerty is coming back to Sweden for two gigs this summer in the Botanical Garden in Uppsala on June 5th and in the Malmö Arena on June 6th. He was supposed to play in Uppsala last year, but he canceled his tour due to the war in Ukraine. The now 77-year-old John Fogerty broke through as a frontman and singer in the band Creedence Clearwater Revival and also has a long and successful solo career behind him. The latest album "Fogerty's factory" came in 2020. Tickets will be released on Friday.
👗 Gothenburg's stadsmuseum will have an exhibition on Augusta Lundin , Sweden's first fashion house from March 14th to September 3rd. The exhibition will exhibit 60 of Lundin's garments from the 1880s to the 1930s, including Selma Lagerlöf's 70th birthday dress.
Swedish Pop Culture
🎶 Musical Swedes
Sweden is known for being musically gifted. Think Abba, Roxette, Avicii, and the numerous Swedish Eurovision wins (6 to be exact 😉). But it wasn't until 2018 that a Swede took home the Oscar for best music. At the 2019 Oscars, Ludwig Göransson took home an Oscar for the original score of the film Black Panther, becoming the first Swede to win the award.
After earning a degree from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Göransson embarked on his career by composing for shorts and television shows while studying at the University of Southern California. His big break came when he was tasked with creating the music for the hit sitcom Community (2009–2015).
Beyond film music, Göransson has also produced for renowned artists, most notably Childish Gambino, which earned him two Grammy awards in 2018.
Currently, Göransson is working on the music for Oppenheimer , Christopher Nolan's upcoming film that tells the story of American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his involvement in the creation of the atomic bomb. The movie is set to be released in 2023.
by Julia Powanda/Riedia
Made with 💛 in Stockholm
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