Sweden

Politics • European
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Following the fourth night of talks, EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package involving €750 billion in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The deal includes as well as a seven-year €1 trillion EU budget.

Member states were split between those hit hardest by the outbreak -- Spain and Italy --, and those more concerned about the costs of the recovery plan --Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland. While the first group wanted a minimum of €400 billion in grants, the later set €375 billion as their upper limit.

The €390 billion figure was suggested as a compromise, and "frugal" nations were reportedly won over by the promise of rebates on their contributions to the EU budget.

Climate & Environment
Higher-than-usual radioactivity detected near Baltic Sea, origin and source unknown
22 /23 June 2020, RN #IMS station SEP63 #Sweden🇸🇪 detected 3isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated w/Nuclear fission @ higher[ ] than usual levels (but not harmful for human health). The possible source region in the 72h preceding detection is shown in orange on the map.
22 /23 June 2020, RN #IMS station SEP63 #Sweden🇸🇪 detected 3isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated w/Nuclear fission @ higher[ ] than usual levels (but not harmful for human health). The possible source region in the 72h preceding detection is shown in orange on the map. Credit: @SinaZerbo (Lassino Zerbo), via Twitter

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization has detected slightly increased levels of isotopes produced by nuclear fission near the Baltic Sea. The CTBTO is a network of hundreds of monitoring stations checking for nuclear weapon tests worldwide but is also able to identify other nuclear activities. One CTBTO station detected higher-than-usual levels of the radionuclides caesium-134, caesium-137 and ruthenium-103 earlier this week that are "certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source," but "it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin," so a spokesperson of the Vienna-based CTBTO.

Nuclear fission products are atomic fragments that are left after an atom is split into two or more smaller nuclei and are radioactive.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Swedish and Danish governments to rescue SAS airline
SAS plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, Sweden
SAS plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, Sweden Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz

The Scandinavian airline SAS presented on June 15 a recapitalisation plan estimated in $1.3 billion. The company's two principal shareholders Sweden, with a 14.8% stake in the carrier, and Denmark, with a 14.2% share, are expected to inject capital to help the airline face the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The aim of the plan is to ensure that SAS is fully funded and that shareholders’ equity will be at levels reported before the COVID-19 pandemic when anticipated business volumes return to pre-corona levels in 2022,” SAS said in a statement.

Politics • European
Sweden overtakes all other European countries in Covid-19 deaths per capita

Over the course of the past seven day recording period that ended Tuesday, Sweden has recorded the most Covid-19 fatalities per capita in all of Europe. The Scandinavian country recorded an average of 6.25 deaths per single day per million inhabitants according to the research platform "Our World in Data".

Health
Greta Thunberg donates $100,000 to UNICEF to support children affected by Covid-19
Greta Thunberg donates $100,000 to UNICEF to support children affected by Covid-19
Credit: Anderspangpang (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Greta Thunberg, 17-year-old Swedish climate activists, donated $100,000 she previously won from a Danish foundation to UNICEF to help support children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thunberg stated that "like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child rights crisis," and asked people to join her in her effort to "support of UNICEF's vital work to save children's lives, to protect health and continue education".

The Danish NGO Human Act is said to match Thunberg's donation.

Climate & Environment
Sweden's last coal plant to be closed two years early
Image of Coal Plant
Image of Coal Plant Credit: pexels.com/@pixabay

Sweden's last coal-fired power station, which was set to seize operation in 2022, has been closed prematurely. A statement on Stockholm Exergi's website read: “This plant has provided the Stockholmers with heat and electricity for a long time, today we know that we must stop using all fossil fuels, therefore the coal needs to be phased out and we do so several years before the original plan." Sweden is the next European country to go coal-free, following Austria and Belgium.

Business • Real Estate, Housing & Infrastructure
IKEA announces that 70% of materials during 2018 have been renewable or recycled

The furniture retailer and producer from Sweden has announced that in their pursuit of using 100% materials that are renewable or recycled by 2030, they have reached the milestone of 70% in 2018.

Health
Greta Thunberg states she believes to be infected with Covid-19

On Wednesday, Greta Thunberg stated on her Instagram account that she believed she had gotten infected with the Coronavirus while travelling through Europe. Both Thunberg and her father experienced symptoms related to the virus – fatigue, coughing and a sore throat.

According to Thunberg, they have been isolating themselves in their home in Sweden upon their return. "I have [...] not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances.", so Thunberg in her Instagram post.

Health
IKEA donates 50,000 face masks to hospital after finding forgotten stock

The Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg has gotten an unexpected gift from IKEA. In one of the stores, 50,000 face masks have been found that were bought during the bird flu outbreak. After finding them stocked away in a warehouse the management agreed to donate them to Sweden's biggest hospital.