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Catherine Edwards

Stockholm, Sweden
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About Catherine
Catherine Edwards is a multilingual journalist and editor based in Stockholm, Sweden since 2015. She has a diverse portfolio, working as The Local's Europe Editor and as a freelance journalist published in the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Culture Trip and Manchester Evening News. Catherine covers Swedish news and international travel and lifestyle, and has provided commentary and analysis on Swedish and Italian news for multiple radio and TV programmes.
English Italian Swedish
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Politics Current Affairs Technology

What is a SOC report and should my company have one?

24 Mar 2024  |  buzzacott.co.uk
A System and Organisation Controls (SOC) report is an independent assessment of risks associated with using a service organisation and is integral to internal governance and risk management. Different types of SOC reports exist, with SOC 1 reports focusing on outsourced services that could impact financial reporting. While there is no statutory requirement for a SOC report, they are commonly performed for various activities within the financial services sector and provide transparency and assurance of effective risk mitigation through appropriate controls. Obtaining a SOC report can differentiate a service organisation and satisfy auditors and investors.

How to get the best rate on your mortgage in Sweden

14 Nov 2022  |  www.thelocal.se
To secure the best mortgage rate in Sweden, start by obtaining multiple lender's notes before property purchase, use services like Ordna Bolån or Lånekollen to contact banks with a single credit check, and research using tools like Compricer or Konsumenternas. Consider trade union discounts, energy-efficient property rewards, and negotiate terms regularly. Be prepared to negotiate with mortgage advisors, who may try to sell additional products, and review offers carefully.

'Sideletters': Austria's latest political scandal explained

03 Feb 2022  |  www.thelocal.at
Austria is embroiled in a political scandal involving secret agreements, known as 'Sideletters,' between the ruling conservative People's Party (ÖVP) and their coalition partners, the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Green Party. The agreements, which were not intended for public disclosure, detail future appointees to senior roles and policies such as a ban on headscarves for teachers. The ÖVP-FPÖ agreement was revealed during an FPÖ politician's testimony, while the ÖVP-Green deal was leaked. These revelations have caused outrage due to the cronyism they represent and the contrast with the parties' public personas. The scandal poses a challenge for new Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who has pledged no more secret deals and greater transparency in political appointments. The Green Party, known for advocating transparency, faces internal criticism and public trust issues, exacerbated by the previous 'Ibizagate' scandal.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

16 Dec 2021  |  www.thelocal.at
Austria's parliament approved a one-off €150 payment for low-income individuals to offset inflation. Vienna launched a restaurant voucher scheme for shoppers this weekend, while the Corona Commission may downgrade Vienna and Burgenland from 'very high risk' to 'high risk' for Covid-19. Illegal protests against Covid measures occurred in Vienna and Graz. Salzburg's regional council voted against renaming streets named after Nazis, despite recommendations from historians and support from the Green Party and KPÖ.

What's going on with Austrian politics?

03 Dec 2021  |  www.thelocal.at
Austria's political landscape is undergoing significant changes with Karl Nehammer appointed as the new chancellor, the sixth in five years. Nehammer, former Interior Minister, will replace Alexander Schallenberg, who stepped in after Sebastian Kurz resigned amid corruption allegations. Kurz announced his departure from politics, leading to a series of resignations including Finance Minister Gernot Blümel. The ÖVP is facing challenges to rebuild its reputation following corruption scandals, and the coalition with the Green Party is strained due to differing views on migration. The next general election is scheduled for 2024, but the stability of the coalition remains uncertain.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

02 Dec 2021  |  thelocal.at
Austria's nationwide lockdown, initially announced to last a maximum of 20 days, may end on December 12th for vaccinated individuals, with official confirmation pending a government decision next week. The term 'Schattenkanzler' was voted as Austria's Word of the Year, reflecting the ironic sentiment towards Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg's succession of Sebastian Kurz. Protests against mandatory Covid-19 vaccines occurred in Vienna and other regions. Employers can give €365 per employee in vouchers as an alternative to office Christmas parties, a tax-deductible expense. A survey found Vienna has the best quality of life but the least friendly people.

Swedish word of the day: precis

07 Oct 2021  |  thelocal.se
The Swedish word 'precis' can be used to confirm statements with 'yes, exactly' or 'no, exactly' in response to negated statements. It can also emphasize confirmation with 'just precis'. 'Precis' is similar to the English 'exactly' and can be used to describe sounding like someone, affirming what someone said, or indicating the opposite. Additionally, it means 'just now' or 'very recently', as well as 'with a slim margin', like 'just in time' or 'just made the last train'.

Should British-Swedish dual citizens still apply for post-Brexit residence status?

09 Sep 2021  |  thelocal.se
British-Swedish dual citizens are considering whether to apply for post-Brexit residence status in Sweden, despite already having Swedish citizenship. The new residence status can be revoked under certain conditions, unlike citizenship, but it offers more generous rights for certain family members of British citizens to join them in Sweden. The deadline for applying has been extended to December 31st, 2021, and the application is free. The Migration Agency has confirmed that the main advantage of residence status over citizenship is the simpler process for family members to join their British family member in Sweden.

Buyer's market: a step-by-step guide to bidding on an apartment in Sweden

30 Jul 2021  |  The Local Sweden
The article provides a detailed guide on how to buy an apartment in Sweden, outlining the process from setting a budget and getting a loan promise to attending viewings, analyzing the housing association's finances, bidding, and finally writing the contract. It emphasizes the importance of doing research and being prepared, as the Swedish property market tends to move quickly. The guide also includes tips for potential buyers, such as the possibility of arranging pre-viewings and the significance of understanding the financial health of the housing association.

Five political crises in Sweden's history and how they were resolved

30 Jun 2021  |  The Local Sweden
The article outlines five significant political crises in Sweden's history, detailing the circumstances and resolutions of each. In 1958, a snap election was called due to a pensions reform dispute, resulting in the Social Democrats gaining seats. The 1976 crisis involved nuclear power disagreements within a right-of-centre coalition. In 1990, a financial crisis led to a temporary split in the left-wing bloc. The December Agreement of 2014 averted a snap election through a cross-party deal. Lastly, the 2018 election resulted in a close vote and an uneasy alliance formed by the January Agreement, which was challenged in June 2021, leading to a no-confidence vote and the government's collapse.

Sweden's political crisis: Your questions answered

29 Jun 2021  |  thelocal.se
Sweden's government failed a vote of no confidence due to a coalition of the Left Party and right-of-centre parties, leading Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to resign. Parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlén is conducting talks to find a new prime ministerial candidate. The Social Democrats hold the most seats, followed by the Moderate Party and Sweden Democrats. A new government could be a Social Democrat-Green coalition, a Moderate-Christian Democrat government, or a centrist coalition. Löfven opted against a snap election due to the pandemic and potential political instability. The outcome of the crisis will affect laws and reforms, including immigration policy and tax cuts.

Swedish PM resigns: What happens now?

28 Jun 2021  |  thelocal.se
Following the resignation of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, the speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, will conduct a series of talks with party leaders to find a candidate who can command a parliamentary majority. There is no set time limit for this process, known as talmansrunda. Potential nominees include Löfven, Ulf Kristersson of the Moderate Party, and Annie Lööf of the Centre Party. The current parliamentary seats are unchanged since the last election, but the Liberal Party, under new leader Nyamko Sabuni, is not willing to renegotiate a previous deal and seeks a right-wing government. The Centre Party has dropped its demand for market rents, which could help form a centre-left government. If no majority is found, a snap election will be called, to be held within three months of the announcement, but the general election scheduled for September 2022 will still occur.

What's up with Sweden's ice cream vans?

19 Apr 2021  |  www.thelocal.se
In Sweden, Hemglass has a monopoly on ice cream vans, operating 300 trucks that make 15,000 stops nightly, selling ice cream in bulk directly from the van. Introduced in 1968 by Eric Ericsson and Anders Gavlevik, the vans were a response to the increasing presence of household freezers. Hemglass is known for its signature jingle, which replaced a bell in the 1980s to avoid confusion with truck reversal alarms. Despite some legal challenges due to the jingle, Hemglass remains a well-known brand in Sweden.

What's up with Sweden's ice cream vans?

19 Apr 2021  |  The Local Europe
In Sweden, Hemglass has a monopoly on ice cream vans, operating 300 trucks that make 15,000 stops nightly, selling ice cream in bulk directly from the van. Introduced in 1968 by Eric Ericsson and Anders Gavlevik, the concept took advantage of household freezers to ensure quality and improve distribution. The vans are known for their signature jingle, which replaced a bell in the 1980s to avoid confusion with truck reversal alarms. Despite some legal complaints about the jingle, environmental courts have not intervened.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

01 Apr 2021  |  thelocal.se
Sweden has extended its coronavirus measures, including early closing times for restaurants and customer limits in shops, gyms, and museums, due to the high spread of infection and healthcare burden. Health Minister Lena Hallengren expressed that restrictions will be relaxed when possible, urging adherence to the rules. Culture Minister Amanda Lind is set to announce additional support for the sports and culture sectors. Life expectancy in Sweden has decreased for the first time in years, and regional authorities report widespread non-compliance with Covid-19 restrictions. Sweden also prepares for April Fool's Day and Easter celebrations.

How the pandemic changed friendships for Sweden's foreign residents

01 Apr 2021  |  The Local Sweden
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the social lives of foreign residents in Sweden, leading to increased isolation and challenges in forming new friendships. Some individuals have adapted by strengthening existing relationships or finding new ways to connect, such as online meetups. However, differing opinions on Sweden's pandemic response have strained some friendships, and cultural differences have also been highlighted. Despite these challenges, some residents appreciate the emphasis on personal responsibility and have found solace in their pets.

Swedish word of the day: påsk

01 Apr 2021  |  The Local Sweden
The Swedish word for Easter is 'påsk', related to terms in other European languages and derived from the Greek 'Pascha', linked to the Hebrew 'Pesach'. Unlike English, Swedish doesn't capitalize words for festivals, months, and weekdays. 'Påsk' is used in various compound words related to the Easter celebration in Sweden, such as 'påskhelgen' (Easter weekend), 'påsklov' (Easter break), 'påskägg' (Easter egg), 'påskgodis' (Easter sweets), 'påskhare' (Easter bunny), and 'påskmust' (a seasonal fizzy drink). Easter Saturday is the main day of celebrations in Sweden.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

25 Mar 2021  |  thelocal.se
Sweden's Constitutional Committee begins hearings into the government's Covid-19 strategy, questioning if responsibility was improperly delegated to the Public Health Agency. The committee's review is separate from the coronavirus commission, which has already identified government failings. Travel restrictions from Denmark, Norway, and the UK are being adjusted, with non-EU/EEA travel bans extended until May 31st. Regions report challenges in enforcing Covid-19 rules in shops. A local debate in southern Sweden centers on the true location of the country's lowest point. Sweden celebrates Waffle Day, a tradition stemming from a mispronunciation of a Catholic holiday.

In Sweden, coronavirus ‘guidelines’ mean some are doing karaoke while the rest of us stay at home

12 Feb 2021  |  inews.co.uk
A British journalist residing in Sweden shares insights into the country's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the reliance on public recommendations over strict rules. Despite no lockdown, life in Sweden has been affected, with a recent rise in cases prompting stricter measures. The journalist notes the challenges of comparing Sweden's approach with other countries, citing Sweden's higher death rate compared to its Nordic neighbors and the failure to protect the most vulnerable. The Swedish government has now introduced a pandemic law and recommended masks on public transport during rush hour, though compliance remains low. The article reflects on the balance between personal responsibility and government guidelines, as well as the need to adapt to changing circumstances.

Swedish word of the day: brittsommar

28 Sep 2020  |  thelocal.se
Brittsommar is a Swedish term for a late period of warm weather, akin to 'Indian summer' in English. It is named after Saint Bridget of Sweden, whose saint day is on October 7th, and is used to describe warm weather in early autumn following cooler temperatures. The term has no offensive connotations and is not linked to Great Britain. There is no specific meteorological definition for brittsommar in Sweden, but periods of distinct warm weather in early October have been recorded in 1973, 1995, 2005, and 2018. The older Swedish term 'grävlingssommar' or 'badger summer' was also used historically to describe a late period of warmth.

Buying vs renting in Sweden: What's the best option?

19 Aug 2020  |  thelocal.se
The article discusses the pros and cons of buying versus renting property in Sweden, highlighting the differences between first-hand and second-hand rentals, the process of acquiring a mortgage as a new arrival, and the impact of location on housing options. It also explains the financial aspects of buying property, including the need for a deposit, monthly costs, and potential investment returns. Additionally, the article covers the responsibilities of property ownership versus renting, such as repairs and renovations, and the implications of making a long-term commitment to staying in Sweden.

Eight things that are free or cheap in Sweden (yes, really)

05 Aug 2020  |  The Local Sweden
Sweden offers a variety of free or inexpensive options for residents and visitors, including education at all levels, affordable rural housing, reasonably priced lunch deals, cheap coffee with refills, free tap water in restaurants, free access to outdoor sports facilities and wild camping, free or discounted museum entry, and boat trips included in public transport passes. The article highlights the benefits of Sweden's social systems and natural resources that contribute to a high quality of life.

Prosecutor 'absolutely' satisfied with Stockholm terror trial verdict

13 Jun 2018  |  The Local Sweden
Prosecutor Hans Ihrman, who led the case against Rakhmat Akilov for the 2017 Stockholm truck attack, expressed satisfaction with the life sentence verdict. Ihrman discussed the challenges and responsibilities of the case, which was unprecedented in Sweden since the introduction of anti-terrorism laws. The trial could set international precedents due to the rarity of terror attack perpetrators facing trial. Ihrman also touched on the difficulties of proving the psychological impact of terrorism in court and the debate over the compensation awarded to victims' families. He believes the ruling will help define the severity required for a crime to be considered terrorism in Sweden.

Sweden in Focus: How one Stockholm suburb is turning the tide on crime

01 Jan 2018  |  The Local Sweden
The article discusses the issue of crime and safety in Fittja, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden, which is classified as an 'especially vulnerable' area due to high crime rates. It focuses on a group of mothers, led by Fatma Ipek, who patrol the streets at night to provide a sense of security and set a positive example for the youth. The initiative, known as 'night-walking', has spread to other similar neighborhoods and is supported by the organization Nattvandring.nu. The article also highlights other community-driven projects aimed at improving safety and integration, such as language and job training programs for immigrant women, and the collaboration between residents, police, and local businesses like Botkyrkabyggen. The efforts have led to a perceived increase in safety and community engagement, challenging the notion of 'no-go zones' and demonstrating the power of collective community action.

'After two years in Sweden, it finally feels like home'

24 Oct 2017  |  The Local Sweden
The author reflects on their personal experience of moving to Sweden, initially by chance, and how Stockholm has become home after two years. They discuss the initial cultural shocks, such as adjusting to new norms and the challenges of being a foreigner, from bureaucratic hurdles to fitting in. The article also touches on the author's work at The Local, where they report on both light-hearted and serious topics in Sweden. They note the growing interest in Swedish culture and lifestyle, particularly the concept of 'lagom' and 'friluftsliv', and how their quality of life has improved. However, the author also acknowledges the rise of the far-right and societal issues like loneliness and sexism, suggesting that Sweden, like any other country, has its problems despite its idyllic reputation.

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