Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nobel Committees investigated for bribery

Swedish prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into possible bribery after revelations that members of three Swedish Nobel Committees received free trips to China from the Chinese government.

Earlier in December, Sveriges Radio reported that members of the three Nobel Committees for natural science – medicine, physics, and chemistry – traveled to China at the invitation of the country’s government to speak about what it takes to receive a Nobel Prize.

Now public prosecutor Nils-Erik Schultz has decided to look into the matter more closely to determine whether any of the Nobel representatives who accepted the paid trips to China could be charged with bribery.

“As of now [the investigation] isn’t directed at any particular person, but at a set of procedures. In the first instance we need to focus on a few trip to China,” Schultz told Sveriges Radio.

Segregation 'widespread' for Swedish immigrants

A study released on Thursday by Statistics Sweden (SCB) reports widespread segregation in the fields of education, housing, employment and politics. In 2008, net immigration into Sweden reached record levels, with more than 100,000 people entering the country and projections that the foreign-born population will reach 14 percent by the end of the year.

The report, released on International Migration Day, illuminates how pronounced the differences in living conditions are between native Swedes and the country’s immigrant populations, particularly those born in Africa and Asia.

"We have seen that people born in these countries are well behind those born in the EU or other Nordic countries. The differences can be seen in education, the job market, and living arrangements," SCB’s Lotta Persson told The Local."I was surprised at how widespread segregation was in Sweden," Persson added.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Swedish School hires teacher convicted of sexual harassment

A Swedish school teacher previously convicted for sexual harassment of two 14-year-old girls has received a new teaching assignment in southern Sweden. While teaching at another school, the man had sent naked pictures of himself to the girls and written several sexually-charged text messages, writes the Barometer newspaper.

Swedish beauty queen arrested for assault

Anna Anka, the former beauty queen and Swedish wife of US entertainer Paul Anka has been arrested for assaulting her husband, 29 years her senior. The pair clashed at their luxury home in California on November 28th. The 37-year-old former Miss Sweden runner-up became so angry while the couple argued that she launched a piece of ice at her husband's head. The ice struck home and left the 67-year-old one time teen idol needing hospital treatment for a head wound.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Swedish Steelmaker SSAB to cut 1,300 jobs

Swedish steelmaker SSAB announced plans on Monday to reduce staff by 1,300 employees as part of a billion kronor ($122 million) savings programme. The cuts will affect all divisions and subsidiaries." I regret that we must announce this reduction in personnel. But demand for steel has fallen sharply in the autumn and we must adapt our costs to the new conditions," said SSAB CEO Olof Faxander in a statement. The company said the programme would be implemented in 2009, with the full impact expected to be felt in 2010.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Forgotten patient dies in Stockholm emergency room

A patient admitted to the emergency room of a Stockholm hospital later died after being forgotten by hospital staff for more than an hour. The incident, which occurred at Stockholm South General Hospital (Södersjukhuset), has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Staff first performed an initial diagnosis on the patient, who suffered from multiple illnesses including early stage dementia and came to the hospital one afternoon complaining of abdominal pains.The patient was then led to an examining room for additional evaluation to be carried out within the next thirty minutes.An hour later, the patient was found unconscious, splayed out on the bed, and covered in vomit.

Swedish texts 'filled with ideological bias'

Several books used to teach Swedish as a second language are plagued with ideological bias, according to a recent academic study. For a doctoral dissertation to be published on Friday, Jörgen Mattlar from Uppsala University examined five text books used to teach Swedish to both young people and adults who have moved to Sweden, as well as to students born and raised in Sweden.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Infectious Diseases On The Up in Sweden

More and more Swedes are being infected by diseases such as Chlamydia, HIV and Nephropathia epidemica. Cases reported to The Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control were up 30 percent in 2007 compared to the year before.
Read more

Friday, May 23, 2008

Government to Examine Imam Education in Sweden

The government announced plans on Thursday to examine whether Sweden should implement a special training program for imams. “Imams can have an important role in integration. Many visitors to mosques turn to their religious leaders with questions related to Swedish society,” said Minister for Higher Education and Research Lars Leijonborg in a statement.

Bribery Allegations Rock Sweden's Migration Board

The Swedish Migration Board has called in the police to help investigate an alleged residence permit bribery scandal. The investigation follows a Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper report about a 20-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan who claims he paid a Migration Board (Migrationsverket) employee 40,000 kronor ($6,750) after the employee promised to procure a Swedish residence permit for him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Arrests in Swedish Nuke Plant Bomb Plot

Swedish police arrested two contractors on Wednesday for allegedly preparing to sabotage a nuclear power plant, after traces of explosives were found on one of the men, police said. "Two Swedish men were arrested ... The prosecutor suspects them of sabotage," Sven-Erik Karlsson of the Kalmar county police told AFP.He said both men were contractors who had been working at the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southern Sweden "for some time," but said the link between the two remained unclear.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

'Sweden Can no Longer Defend Itself'

Armed Forces Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén fears that proposed cuts to the military will diminish its capacity to defend Sweden's borders. In a proposal featuring an array of downsizing measures submitted by Syrén to the government on Thursday, military operations in Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden will disappear with the dissolution of the city’s Arctic Ranger battalion.

Church Gender Equality Flaws in Sweden

The Lutheran Church of Sweden has been criticised for weaknesses in its gender equality.
A study from the Ombudsman for Gender Equality says the former state church fails to satisfy legal requirements. Only one diocese, Linköping, is in full compliance with the law.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chinese Students Cheated Over College Fees in Sweden

Several Chinese students from China have paid thousands of kronor to agencies in China to attend a Swedish university, despite the fact that the school is tuition free.


Swedish Business Collapses On The Up

The numbers of Swedish companies going bust has risen sharply over the last 12 months. 440 businesses shut their doors in Sweden in April, that’s up 8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Read more

Friday, May 2, 2008

Immigrant pensioners draw a blank in Swedish

Thousands of immigrant pensioners in homes for the elderly are in danger of becoming more and more isolated. With the onset of age-related dementia, the elderly patients often forget their second language, Swedish, and soon have no one with whom they can communicate on a daily basis.

Jail for Refugees with False Passports in Sweden

A Swedish human rights professor claims that police putting a refugee arriving with false documents in jail are violating the Geneva Convention.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Top Swedish Military Officer Fired

Major General Tony Stigsson, former head of the Swedish Armed Forces' Joint Forces Command, was formally dismissed today. He had earlier been sentenced to three months in prison for abusing his wife. He is also accused of having inappropriately handled classified documents.

Swedish Teachers Face Violence at Work

Violence and harassment towards teachers are becoming an everyday occurrence in the corridors of Swedish schools, according the latest study from the National Union of Teachers. The figures come in a debate article in Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. The investigation reveals that one in ten teachers are harassed at work while one in twenty are subject to violence and often on more than one occasion.

Shops Investigated for Tax Fraud

Shops in Sweden are to be subject to closer scrutiny for tax fraud by the Swedish National Tax Board. From 1st July this year the Tax Board are moving the focus of their investigations from the restaurant trade to other cash handling businesses such as opticians and bookmakers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gas Prices in Sweden Reach Record High

The price of gas in Sweden has reached a new record high of 13 kronor per litre ($8.40 per gallon). However analysts expect prices to rise even higher over the summer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Swedish Guards Accussed of Terror Ties

Members of a delegation from Sweden’s Migration Board (Migrationsverket) were interrogated for hours by Israeli border police after being accused of collaborating with terrorists.

Swedish Healthcare Workers Strike

Brandishing placards that cried, ”I want to see what I do reflected in my pay packet!” 3,500 Swedish healthcare workers geared up this weekend for the strike which began Monday after negotiations broke down between employers and the Swedish Association of Healthcare Professionals on Saturday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Swedish Football at a Crossroads

His first visit to a Swedish football match left David Bartram wondering what Sweden needs to do to stamp out its problems with hooliganism.

Riksdag Member Investigated for Alleged Abuse

A formal investigation was launched on Wednesday into allegations that a Moderate Party member of the Riksdag abused a woman. A high ranking public prosecutor has begun an investigation on his own initiative following a series of reports in the Swedish press on rumors of the abuse.

Prison Time for Swedish Nazi Leader

The Court of Appeals in Malmö has sentenced Simon Lindberg, leader of the National Socialist Front (NSF) in the southern Swedish county of Skåne to prison for criminal damages, acting as an accessory to abuse, and as an accessory to unlawful threats.

Swedish Youth Facing Debt Disaster

Sweden’s youth are facing serious economic problems according to a new report to the Swedish government by the Swedish Consumer Agency and the Swedish Debt Enforcement Authority.

Read more

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Swedish Volvo and Saab Sold Less in Europe

Former Swedish tradition brands Volvo and Saab are losing ground on the European passenger car market.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gender Equality and Business Problems in Sweden

Sweden is often hailed as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to gender equality. But it’s not all as rosy as you might imagine. Within the EU only Ireland and Malta are worse when it comes to the amount of women in leading positions in business. Only 3.9% of Swedish women own their own companies. Not the most impressive figure.

Too Few Milk Cows in Sweden

Swedish agricultural authorities report that the once over production of milk in this Nordic nation has dwindled to a scarcity.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Swedish Teacher Accused of Sending Nude Pics to Seduce Student

A teenage student in possession of sexually explicit photos of his Swedish school teacher claims the woman was trying to seduce him, reports the Göteborgs Tidning (GT) newspaper. The photos, which depict the teacher in sexually provocative positions, have now been circulated to several students at a school in Kungsbacka outside of Gothenburg, landing the teacher at the centre of a school-wide sex scandal.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Elderly Swedes Prescribed Antidepressants

The prescribing of antidepressants for people over 75-years-old has increased dramatically since 2000. In the last seven years, the number of daily doses has increased 29 percent according to statistics which Sweden’s state-run pharmacy monopoly Apoteket assembled for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swedish Guards Ignore Dying Prisoner

The Swedish media has also ben giving much attention to criticized 3-year-old police investigation of the death of a 31-year-old detainee in jail in the small southern Swedish town of Nyköping 3 years ago.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Iranian Man Offers 200,000 Kronor reward For Job in Sweden

Film-maker Shahram Afsar has offered 200,000 kronor ($34,000) for information leading him to a permanent job. Afsar claims that his Iranian name has forced him to take drastic measures. [...]

"Employers choose their friends within their network. It is almost impossible to get into this profession with the wrong name," Afsar said to

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Swedish Green Party Policies Fail to Tackle Emissions

Just because a party calls itself Green doesn't necessarily mean it has the most environmentally friendly policies, argues Nima Sanandaji of the Captus think tank.
The Green Party’s lukewarm stance towards economic development and modern technology leads to policies which considerably reduce our potential to limit emissions.

German Lawyer Criticizes Swedish Police

Swedish police have been criticized by the prime suspect's lawyer for their handling of the Arboga double murder case. The suspect (center) arrived for a hearing at a German court on Monday.

Torture Report to be Investigated Again

French authorities have decided to resume investigations into the alleged torture of a Congolese prisoner during a Swedish-French peace keeping mission in 2003. According to Swedish Television (SVT) the Supreme Commander of the French Armed Forces has made that decision after the visit of a Swedish delegation in France.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Record Number of AIDS Patients

Sweden hasn’t seen statistics like this since the 1990s. Doctors have long been warning that the lax attitude towards safe sex here in Sweden is putting lives at risk. This morning’s edition of Dagens Nyheter reports that last year saw a record number of people contracting full blown AIDS.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Swedish Security Service Open Up about Al-Shabaab

The Swedish Security Service is investigating three Swedish-Somalian men’s alleged activities within the militant Islamic organisation al-Shabaab. The men are suspected of financially supporting al-Shabaab. The day after their arrest, the al-Shabaab organisation made the USA’s terrorist list, even though it is not included on the United Nation’s or the European Communion’s lists. According to Swedish law, financing an organisation that promotes or supports terrorism is illegal.

Young Swedish Women Underweight and Unhappy

According to a new report by the National Board of Health and Welfare, Swedes’ health and living standards are improving, with the exception of young adults and especially young women aged 15-24.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sweden's Asylum System 'Stuck in Stone Age'

The Swedish Migration Board has proposed changing the regulations for asylum seekers with Swedish families. Under the current system, asylum seekers denied asylum must return to their countries of origin to reapply for a residence permit even if they have children with Swedish nationals. "It's like the Stone Age for them to have to apply from home and be away from their child for up to a year when they have a right to be in Sweden because of their relation to the child," head of the Migration Board Dan Eliasson told Dagens Nyheter.

Dozens of Swedes Wrongly Accused of Drunk Driving

Around 100 Swedes may have been wrongly suspected--and possibly sentenced to prison--for drunk driving due to faulty breathalyzer test machines. As a result of the problem approximately 100 people subjected to breath tests between December and March gave readings over the legal limit for driving under the influence.

Sweden: Centre Party Slash Child Benefits for High Income Earners

The leader of the Swedish Centre Party Maud Olofsson has suggested that high income earners lose the monthly child benefit of 173 US dollars currently available to all parents, regardless of income.

Childhood Poverty Down but Gap Between Sweden's Rich and Poor Widens

According to a new report from “Save the Children Sweden” childhood poverty in Sweden is on the wane but discrepancies between rich and poor children is on the rise. Areas with little poverty in the early 1990s have become richer but high poverty areas are even poorer now. Children from single parent households with a foreign parent stand a one in two chance of sliding into poverty.

Monday, March 24, 2008

UN Raps Swedish Plans to Deport Eritrean

STOCKHOLM: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Sweden’s plans to deport a 23-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported yesterday. The human rights office has sent a fax to the Swedish foreign ministry demanding an explanation and urging authorities to try the man’s case again, according to the newspaper, which added that the fax has been partially classified.

Skin Cancer Figures Rising in Sweden

More Swedes are being diagnosed with skin cancer than in previous decades. Researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg point out that today more people voluntarily expose themselves to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays than in years past.

“Many of us get sunburned outdoors in our free time--in the garden or on the lake, for example. And we shouldn’t overlook the increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation that comes from traveling overseas,” said Gunilla Wastensson of Sahlgrenska to Sveriges Television (SVT).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sweden: Principal Punched by Drunken Teacher

A school in the central Swedish town of Västerås was the scene of an unusual school hall scuffle on Wednesday morning. Rather than a gang of menacing teenagers exchanging blows, this fight featured a drunken teacher who landed a punch to the face of the school’s principal. The 56-year-old teacher showed up at the school intoxicated and angry at having recently been suspended for inappropriate behavior toward other teachers, according to news agency TT.

Members of Swedish State Televison Broadcasting Arrestged on Smuggling Charges

Six members of staff at the Malmö offices of state broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) have been indicted on alcohol smuggling charges. Five of the suspects were members of a committee tasked with organizing a party for the premiere of the reality TV programme Riket (Kingdom) on November 10th 2005, Skånska Dagbladet reports.

The committee members reportedly asked a sixth person, a props manager, to take a company car and travel to Germany to purchase 14 litres of strong liquor, 93 litres of wine and 103 litres of strong beer with licence-payers' money.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sweden: Father Arrested For Brutal Child Murders

Two children were killed and their mother seriously injured after being stabbed in their home in Central Sweden late Monday. The four year old boy and his two year old sister died from their wounds in hospital. The mother, who’s 23 , is in a critical condition. Police say the children’s father, a 28 year old man, is the prime suspect. He was arrested around midnight on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Study: Swedish Doctors Too Generous With Sick Leave

Many doctors agree to sign sick notes for patients who wish to go on sick leave despite not always believing their claims to be justified, a new study has shown. Eight out of ten patients who want to take sick leave are helped in doing so by their doctors. In some cases, sick notes are granted even in cases where doctors fear it may be counterproductive. “Many doctors have abdicated from their duties,” Lars Englund from the Centre for Clinical Research in Dalrna told Dagens Nyheter.

Convicted Swedish Sex Offender Leaves Second Academic Post

A professor previously convicted for sexual molestation has resigned from his position at Södra Älvsborg hospital in western Sweden. He will receive six months’ severance pay following his departure. It’s a good resolution for both parties,” said Marie Lindström of Södra Älvsborg’s human resources department to the Borås Tidning newspaper.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Swedish Soldier Tied to Neo-Nazi Groups

A soldier in the Nordic Battle Group is a well known Nazi sympathizer from western Sweden. The man has been photographed adorned in Nazi regalia, and was listed on a website for people expressing hostility to foreigners, reports the Borås Tidning (BT) newpaper. On the site he described himself as a rebel who wears military-style clothes and listens to resistance-rock. His interests included “race biology”. “There is no doubt about the sort of circles in which this person runs,” Mikael Ekman from the anti-racism organization Expo told BT.

Shots Fired at Swedish Prosecutor's Home

Shots were fired early on Friday morning at the apartment of chief public prosecutor Mats Mattson. Mattson, who works for the Swedish Economic Crimes Bureau, is active in the fight against organized crime, police sources said. Earlier this year, he appeared at a press conference following a raid on a number of address connected to the Bandidos motorcycle gang. Shortly before 1am on Friday, shots were fired through the window of the prosecutor's fourth floor apartment in central Malmö.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Swedish Schools Employing Sex Offenders

Careless employers have allowed at least 75 convicted sex criminals to work as substitutes in Swedish schools and daycare centers since 2003. Minister of Education Jan Björklund is now planning to put harder sanctions in place.

The 75 convicted sex offenders have received substitute positions within schools and childcare centres, despite the existence of a 2001 law requiring new hires to submit to criminal background checks.

According to TV4’s investigative news program Kalla Fakta, several are repeat offenders. Altogether the situation involves 85 different sex crimes, 30 of which were directed toward children, according to the investigation.

Young Swedes Trapped by SMS Loan Debt

Fire off a simple text message, wait 15 minutes and presto, 3000 kronor ($500) land in your account; the simplicity of obtaining SMS loans in Sweden is increasingly luring youths into debt.

"The first (SMS) loan was given in the middle of March 2006," said Janne Åkerlund, a spokesman for Sweden's debt recovery agency Kronofogden, adding that the first bill collectors were sent out just three months later. Since then, the number of un-repaid text message loans has soared: in 2007, Kronofogden was tasked with collecting debts from 20,000 such loans, 35.9 percent of which were granted to people aged 18 to 25.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Iran Kicks Out Swedish Diplomat

Iran has expelled a Swedish diplomat from his post in Tehran, marking another move in a quiet diplomatic dispute that has been brewing for weeks. Iran has expelled a Swedish diplomat from his post in Tehran, marking another move in a quiet diplomatic dispute that has been brewing for weeks.

Sweden: Malmö Rocked by Morning Crime Wave

Police in Malmö have created a special unit to investigate a wave of crimes in the city on Thursday morning that included the discovery of a car bomb, a bank robbery, a burning car and a suspicious bag. "We got a tip-off that a number of explosive devices were to be detonated in Malmö and at the same time we were also alerted to the bank robbery, which was soon followed by a new alert and an explosive device outside the police station," said police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford.

Swedish Socialite Jailed in Australia

A Swedish-born socialite was jailed in Australia for nearly four years Friday for plotting to murder two witnesses in her boyfriend's drug trial. Charlotte Lindström, 23, who was a regular in the social pages of Sydney's newspapers, had pleaded guilty and agreed to give evidence against others involved in the case. She was accused of offering AU$200,000 dollars (US$185,000) to an undercover policeman to kill two men who were scheduled to give evidence against her boyfriend Steven Spaliviero.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Foreigners Can't Bank on Swedish ID

Foreign students continue to feel marginalized by Swedish society as a result of confusion regarding the issuing of Swedish identity cards. "I walk around every day with a sense of fear," said Dzmitry Fando, a Belorussian national and masters student at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Swedish Pentecostalist Pastor Bans Transvestite

A 58-year-old transvestite from southern Sweden has been told by a pastor in Hässleholm that he is not welcome to hold a lecture at the local Pentecostalist church hall. Claes Schmidt, who also goes by the name Sara Lund, had been invited by the Zonta women's organization to hold a talk about human rights in a hall rented from the town's Pentecostalist community. But on hearing that the International Women's Day event would include a talk from Schmidt, Pastor Magnus Jonegård told Zonta they would need to find another venue. "He cancelled their booking," said Schmidt.

Assaulted Man Died in Sweden

The man who was found in an apartment in Lilla Edet outside of Trollhättan died on Tuesday.
Two females that is already arrested for the assault is now also suspected of involentary manslaughter. The charge may be changed to murder. The man, 48 years old, was severly beaten and was treated on a respirator before he died.

Swedish Police Arrested For Abuse of Woman

A policeofficer in Östergötland was arrested for "kvinnofridskränkning" - abuse of a related woman which can include assault, sexual harassment and threats. [The term "kvinnofridskränkning" is considered when a woman is abused repeatedly and on several occasions by a man that is or was closely related]

Repeated Attacks Agains Gay Students in Sweden

Since August, the door to the office of the United Gay Students office in Stockholm has been smeared with feces five times. The events have been reported to the police and handed over to the hate crime unit. The events has not been preceded by threats or other messages.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Swede Dies in UN Helicopter Crash

UN arms monitors from Sweden, Gambia, Indonesia and South Korea died when their UN helicopter crashed in the mountains of eastern Nepal, the world body said Tuesday. The crew -- two Russians and a Belarussian -- were also killed in Monday's crash along with three Nepalese nationals, it said in a statement.The chopper went down amid poor weather conditions.

Sweden: Step-father Arrestested For Rape

A 50-year old man was arrested suspected of raping his 12-year old step-daughter. He is accused of raping her on several occasions. He denies the allegations.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Swedish Neo-nazis Arrested Near Kosovo Demonstration

A group of 20 neo-Nazis were detained by police in Stockholm on Saturday. The neo-Nazis were on their way to disrupt a demonstration by 400 Serbs protesting Kosovo's independence. The neo-Nazis, members of the Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR), were stopped by police on their way to Myntorget in the Gamla Stan area of Stockholm on Saturday afternoon. "They were stopped near Riksbron.

They were behaving badly and were armed with golf-clubs and stones," said police spokesperson Ann-Charlotte Wejnäs to TT.A demonstration arranged by the Serbian youth organization in Sweden was being held at the time on the nearby square. 400 Serbs had gathered to demonstrate against Kosovo's declaration of independence. Police arrested two of the neo-Nazis, one for violent resistance and the other for intent to commit assault. The remainder were dispersed.

Swedish Football Hooligans Clash in Gothenburg

Fighting broke out between rival fans of football clubs Gais and IFK Norrköping outside of Gothenburg on Saturday afternoon. Police detained four people for drug-testing. According to police there were between 20 and 30 football hooligans involved in the fighting which started at 2pm in central Landvetter.

Swedish Restaurant Evacuated After Bomb Threat

A restaurant in Gothenburg was evacuated on Saturday evening after a bomb threat. 30 guests were eating in the restaurant at the time. The restaurant, in the Gårda area of the city, has been the target for several bomb threats recently."We had a similar incident at the same restaurant a couple of weeks ago. Then an explosive charge was found on the building's facade or at the front door. As threats have been made before we take this very seriously," said Thomas Fuxborg at the local police to news agency TT.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Muslim Mum Discrimination Case Headed to Swedish Supreme Court

The City of Gothenburg has appealed to Sweden’s highest court to avoid paying damages to two Muslim mothers who were kicked out of a swimming pool for not removing their veils. A month ago, the Court of Appeal for western Sweden found the city guilty of ethnic discrimination and ordered it to pay the women 20,000 kronor ($3,230) each in damages. The city had been sued by the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO).The women, Houda Morabet and Hayal Eroglu, were at the pool accompanying their children but had no intention of swimming themselves.

Swedish Government Recruitment Shrouded in Secrecy

The Swedish government has failed in its commitment to adopt an open appointment process when recruiting top-level civil servants, TV4 reports. In October, the minister responsible for the appointment procedure, Mats Odell (ChrDem) said in a Riksdag debate that "documents handed in by a candidate will of course be in the public domain". Just three days later, however, the trade ministry signed an agreement with a recruitment firm to find a new director general to head the state energy utility Svenska Kraftnät. The agreement included a non-disclsurere clause. According to Mats Odell, this was a mistake that will not be repeated. "It's completely wrong, it goes against regulations," he told TV4.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Swede: 'I Was Demoted For Defending Israel'

A Swedish Migration Board employee with 20 years' experience is charging that he was demoted due to his pro-Israel political views. Lennart Eriksson, 51, has had what he describes as a long and relatively happy career with the Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

In his spare time he also operates a personal blog in which he expresses his support of democratic freedoms and espouses support for the cause of Israel in particular.“I want to defend freedom and democracy. I try to be humble and just. Therefore I must—as every good democrat must—defend Israel,” reads a passage describing the content of Eriksson’s blog, Sapere aude!.

Sweden: Man Dies After Two Hour Wait For Ambulance

Despite a woman’s repeated calls to Sweden’s emergency number, SOS Alarm, it took two hours before an ambulance arrived to care for son. The 34-year-old man died shortly after paramedics arrived.The woman believed her son was having a heart attack, prompting her to call SOS Alarm five times as she waited for help to arrive.“

I said that I needed an ambulance and that there was something wrong with my son. I explained that he was lying on the floor, that he had stinging in his arms and pain in his chest,” said the mother to the Sydsvenskan newspaper.When the ambulance finally arrived the man collapsed and died in the hall.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sweden: Increase in Bestiality or Sex With Animals

The Swedish Animal Welfare Agency reports a rise in documented cases of animals suffering psychologically and physically from sexual abuse by Swedes. Smaller animals suffer injuries to their genitalia due to vaginal and anal penetration. The emotional traumas horses suffer are difficult to asses.

Cut and stab wounds are also a worrisome problem. Bestiality is not illegal in Sweden. A ban on the practice was lifted in 1944, along with a ban on homosexuality. However, a person can be found guilty of cruelty if prosecutors can prove that the animal suffered physical or psychological injury.

Sweden’s Latest ‘Epidemic’, Self Molestation by The Young Growing Out of Control

The number of young Swedish girls ‘cutting’ themselves continues to increase. This expanding phenomenon, nicely called self-injury or –harm, leaves the authorities helpless. Girls make three out of four cases as boys went their anxiety and desperation through abusive behavior, fights and drunkenness.

One girl, the father an alcoholic and mother a fanatic, saw ‘cutting’ as the only way to relieve her otherwise unbearable feelings. The cutting amongst girls, Dagens Nyheter reports, has become a popular fad, a stage that can begin with slight self-inflicted pain, like putting drops of dish-liquid in the eyes or just scratching the skin until bleeding commences to willful breaking of ones own bones.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sweden: “We're living dangerously" Says Expert as Radiation Leaks Are Discovered

The radiation leaks at a nuclear reactor north of Stockholm went undetected for three years, and the leaks were only the latest in a series of mishaps. Some analysts argue that the outcome was a matter of luck and that a serious accident — even a meltdown — could have happened.

A highly critical internal report from Forsmark plant criticized what it called an "extensive and profound degradation" of the safety culture, describing, among other things, how an alcohol test of 25 workers at the plant resulted in three being sent home for drunkenness.

"It's a bit like a lottery," said Lars-Olov Hoglund, an engineer who was involved in the construction of the plant. More nuclear power plants have since been shut down over the serious safety problems encountered. "These reactors are old," said Lennart Daleus, the secretary general of Swedish Greenpeace. "We're living dangerously."

Swedes Afraid of Returning to Its Drunken Past Due to EU Directives

A nation with a tradition of drinking to the point of drunkenness and a history of abuse going back to the miseries of 19th-century industrialization, Sweden has been able through stringent laws and enforcement to stabilize the alcohol consumption of its citizens.

During the worst period of abuse in Sweden in the mid-1800's, the country had more than 175,000 distilling machines for a population of about eight million, and consumption was estimated at almost 49 quarts of alcohol per adult per year compared with about 9.5 ten years ago. But the European Union is extending its reach and to harmonize its policies. Stretching from freezing climates to desert regions and incorporating vastly different cultures, the union is seeing that what may be a market commodity in one country is a health issue in another.

"Here we come from a tradition of drinking where people beat each other up and even get killed over drinking. You talk to the Italians and they don't see that. Drinking has been a part of their way of life for 1,000 years and they think young people need to be taught to drink." Says Dr. Gunar Agren, the executive manager of Sweden's National Institute of Health.Lennart Johnk, who has worked with alcoholics for 20 years says, "The world is changing and that is good, but as social workers I think we are going to have more problems."

Sweden: Assar The Ugly Lynxs Has to Die

The Stockholm zoo Skansen has found a ’better’ lynxs, the big wild cats of the Scandinavian forests, to take Assars place. Assar is young and healthy but has to make way for better specimen. One of Skansen’s animal care workers expressed him/her self under anomity:

”Its discusting to kill them. One can wreck and destroy cars but not living beings”.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Disturbed Attacks on Taxi Drivers in Sweden

Violence and robbery of taxi drivers in Sweden is not only on the increase but motives shift from the criminal towards those in mentally and psychologically deranged minds. Dagens Nyheter Monday Feb 18

The Invisible Children in Sweden

Up to 10.000 innocent children of imprisoned parents are being called the “invisible ones” as they do not appear on any statistics in Sweden. Thus they fall outside of any state-support or control.Svenska Dagbladet Monday Feb 18

Sexual Molestation of Children by Other Children in Stockholm

Svenska Dagbladet reports 20 Feb a noticeable increase in sexual molestation of children by other children in Stockholm. This pediatric form of child abuse, perpetrated by another child, is on the increase especially in the kindergartens. Part of the problem is that pre-school staff does not receive sufficient training to notice any warning signals.

Swedish Lecturer Fined For Slapping Student

A lecturer from Uppsala University has been fined the equivalent of 60 days' wages for striking a medical student across the face during a practical demonstration. The incident took place during a lecture attended by 70 to 80 medical students. As part of the day's lesson, the lecturer selected one member of the class to participate in a demonstration on how to act when checking patients' levels of consciousness. With 70 to 80 of her peers in attendance, the student was asked to lie on her back on the lecturer's desk. The lecturer, who also works as a neurologist at Uppsala University Hospital, then proceeded to slap her repeatedly across the face while her classmates looked on and laughed.

Swedish Students Convicted in Bullying Case

Five teenage boys have been convicted in Malmö for binding their 14-year-old classmate with tape last May. The teens were found guilty of unlawful detention and sentenced to between 35 and 120 hours of community service.

Swedish Heraldists Want Penis Reinstated on Military Badge

Sweden's chief heraldists remain dissatisfied with a decision by the Nordic Battlegroup to remove a lion's penis depicted on its coat of arms. But staff at the National Archives are hopeful that the Nordic Battlegroup will reconsider its position and re-erect the lion's member on its insignia. "They stepped over the line when they made alterations to the badge without consulting us. It was a clear breach of copyright," state heraldist Henrik Klackenberg told The Local.

Swedish Football Hooligans Clash in Helsingborg

Fighting broke out between rival Danish, Swedish and Dutch hooligans at a pub in central Helsingborg on Thursday evening. Police made two arrests and removed a further 24 people from the area after Thursday's UEFA Cup match between Helsingborg and PSV Einhoven, Skånska Dagbladet reports.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sweden Accused of Persecuting Civil Servant For Pro-Israel Views

An employee of the Swedish Migration Board sued the organization last month for what he considers unlawful demotion for his support of Israel and the U.S., which he expressed in his personal Web site. The parties met last week at the Goteborg District Court for a first hearing on the case. Lennart Eriksson, 51, told Haaretz by phone that his boss, Eugene Palmer, had demoted him last September from the position of manager of an asylum assessment unit - which he had held for six years - to manager of one of the board's shelters. Eriksson maintains that in effect, the demotion constitutes dismissal.

The board - the government body handling immigrants - disagrees with this. Eriksson, who is not Jewish, also said he viewed his demotion as a form of political persecution. According to Eriksson, Palmer told him he had seen Eriksson's Web site and that Eriksson's views were both "unusual and controversial." According to Eriksson, Palmer told him he was being demoted because of the Web site, and that running such a site was inappropriate for a senior official of the migration board. He said his site "does not and has never contained hateful or acrimonious ideas."

Swede Caught in UK Welfare Scam

A Swedish citizen falsely claiming to have 18 children managed to cheat UK welfare authorities out of more than £20,000 ($39,000/247,000 kronor) before getting caught. Caockmari Omoike, 36, a naturalized Swedish citizen from Gambia who has no children of her own, deceived officials from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs using multiple UK addresses and false names, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swedish Hospital in HIV Needle Mix up

A nurse at Sahlgrenska University Hospital injected a patient with a syringe previously used on a patient infected with HIV. Officials believe that the oversight may have resulted in the man being infected with the HIV virus.Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has issued a sharp criticism against the hospital, according to the newspaper Göteborgs Posten. The two patients, one hospitalized with HIV and the other with severe head injuries, were housed in the same room at the hospital.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Prison Time For Sweden's Mentally ill

The government wants to discard the ban on prison sentences for those with serious psychological problems. Currently, mentally ill offenders are sent to mental health facilities.Under the government's new plan, courts would have the option of prison sentences in certain cases, allowing for more flexibility in the sentencing process.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pessimism Rises Among Swedish Store Owners

Confidence in the development of retail sales is at a record low among Sweden’s merchants. “The public debate about a possible economic slow down presumably plays a major role in the panel’s view of the business environment,” said Swedish Trade Federation vice president Yvonne Ingman in a statement. According to the barometer, merchants believe that jewelry, electronics, and furniture stores will be hit hardest by an economic downturn.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Young Swedes Depend on Welfare

More young Swedes than ever before are never making it into the job market, instead finding them stuck in welfare dependency.

Swede Held For 'al-Qaeda Ties'

23-year old Swedish citizen is in custody in France for suspected ties to a group linked with al-Qaeda. The man was arrested by French police on February 1st on his way back to Sweden. Sweden’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed the arrest and tells the newspaper that the embassy is awaiting permission to visit the man.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stressed Out Swedish Students Tired of Studying

Close to half the students in Sweden’s system of higher education have been near or have seriously considered quitting school. In its annual Student Barometer study, Sweden’s United Student Unions (SFS) asked 6,642 students questions about completing their education, and how they view the work and working conditions at institutions of higher learning. Many of the respondents who considered giving up studying had ethnic backgrounds other than Swedish, were gay or bisexual, or had disabilities.

Sweden: Mother Suspects Daughter Was Victim of Honour Killing

The mother of the 16-year-old Malmö girl who died a week ago Sunday after falling from a balcony says her daughter was the victim of an honour killing. In an interview on the newsmagazine program Aktuellt, the girl’s mother explained that she long had concerns about her 19-year-old son, who has been in custody on suspicion of murder since last Wednesday, along with the girl’s 38-year-old stepfather.“I had contacted both social services and the school several times about the problems with my son, the girl’s brother,” the mother said to Aktuellt.“But they told me my son was my problem.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

Swedish Teacher Accused of Making Beer Run for 15-year old Students

A Stockholm middle school teacher has been charged for purchasing alcohol for two of her female students. The 37-year old woman is accused of buying an undisclosed amount of beer and strong cider for the two students, both 15-years old at the time.

Governments in Sweden Shun Privatization Experts

A new survey shows that both centre-right and social democratic governments do a poor job at consulting experts when planning the sales of state-owned companies. As the government made preparations for the sales of OMX, SBAB, TeliaSonera, and Vin & Sprit last year, it was criticized by the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) for not taking the views of agencies affected by the planned sales.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wave of Illegal Weapons Hits Sweden

Weapons crimes have increased by 20 percent in Sweden since 2000. There are an increasing number of weapons in circulation in Sweden and smuggling continues apace. A case involving four men accused of smuggling 40 pistols in their car over the Öresund bridge in October 2007 reached its conclusion in Malmö this week. The verdict is expected to be delivered during next week. Rolf Bårdskär at the customs and excise criminal investigation unit (Tullkriminalen) in Malmö described the case as "exceptional."

Swedish Neo-Nazis Become More Violent

Sweden's three largest neo-Nazi groups were busy in 2007 conducting 1,142 activities. The Security Service, Säpo, warns that Nazis are becoming more violent. The magazine Expo has examined the activities of the National Socialist Front (NSF), the Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR) and Info-14 and found that neo-Nazi activities occurred in 19 of Sweden's 21 counties in 2007. Only Kronoberg and Jämtland were free of neo-Nazi activities.

Friday, February 8, 2008

TeliaSonera AB to Cut 2,900 Jobs in Sweden and Finland

Swedish-Finnish telecomms operator TeliaSonera AB issued its year-end report on Friday (8 February), posting net sales of SEK96,344m, a 5.8% increase compared to 2006. The operating income amounted to SEK26,155m, up from SEK25,489m in the previous year. Earnings per share increased from SEK3.78 to SEK3.94. Despite recently having completed a programme to cut annual costs by SEK1.5bn, TeliaSonera announced new plans to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

The new programme aims at cutting an additional SEK5bn off costs, mainly by reducing a further 2,900 jobs in Sweden and Finland. Two-thirds of the new job cuts will take place in the Swedish organisation.

Swedish Teacher Fined For Flashing Boobs

A teacher in Sweden has been fined for flashing her breasts at a male pupil. She was convicted of sexual harassment after exposing her breasts to the boy in retaliation for the boy covering the blackboard with swear words and sexual drawings.

Swedes Hit With Massive Tax Bill

Swedes handed over a whopping 577 billion kronor of their income in taxes in 2007. No wonder the Finance Minister is smiling. In all, Swedes handed over 577 billion kronor ($88 billion) of their 2007 income to the guardian of the state funds. This represented an increase of 5.4 percent on figures for 2006. Most of the total was made up of local government income tax contributions.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sweden Mulls Tighter Family Reunion Rules

Stockholm - The Swedish cabinet Thursday approved a review of tighter rules for refugee family reunion, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said. A refugee with a resident permit must in future be able to prove that he or she can support themselves and also have suitable housing, the premier said, citing that the review was part of his centre-right government's overall aim to "make it profitable to work." "Everyone who can work should do so as far as possible," Reinfeldt said at a news conference with Migration and Asylum Policy Minister Tobias Billstrom.,sweden-mulls-tighter-family-reunion-rules.html

Racist Comments Force Out Local Swedish Politician

Marge Aab Svensson, a Moderate Party politician and head of Vallentuna recreational committee, has left her post following charges she referred to a colleague using racially insensitive language. Aab Svensson also serves on the municipal executive committee and municipal council of the Stockholm suburb.

According to local newspaper Mitt i Vallentuna, she was one of the municipality’s premier politicians, but now stands accused of referring to a colleague as a “jävla blatte, jävla svartskalle.” The ethnic slur translates roughly into “damn coloured person, damn black head.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finns in Demo For Jailed MS Patient in Sweden

Demonstrators in Finland staged a protest on Monday evening in support of a Swedish multiple sclerosis patient who was sentenced to jail after growing cannabis for medicinal purposes. Organizers said that 25 to 30 people gathered outside the Swedish embassy in Helsinki at 6pm to express their outrage at the decision by a Swedish court to jail 39-year-old Susanne Eriksson.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dean Resigns in Swedish Church Sex Scandal

The Dean of Gothenburg has resigned following revelations of sexual harassment. Bishop Carl Axel Aurelius has admitted knowledge of the revelations for years. Despite knowing of the allegations against his closest colleague and protests from women in the diocese, Aurelius awarded the dean an honorary position only a couple of months ago, Göteborgs Posten reports.

Three of the allegations date back 25-30 years and involve teenage girls. Aurelius has previously admitted to knowing of one of the allegations for several years. Two further allegations came to his knowledge only a few weeks ago. Aurelius explains that the incidents have not been reported to the police as the statute of limitations had expired.


The Swedish Migration Board has demoted – and in practice fired – Asylum Assessment Manager Lennart Eriksson, 51, for voicing support for democracies such as Israel and the USA on his personal website. The Migration Board has not alleged that Eriksson’s personal beliefs have in any way affected the quality of his work, nor is it alleged that he has behaved in any way inappropriately while at work, acknowledging that he manages his website entirely in his own private time. It is for his political beliefs that he is being persecuted. Eriksson is a Conservative.

Lennart Eriksson, 51, has worked at the Swedish Migration Board in Göteborg in western Sweden in a variety of positions for almost 20 years. He is a Conservative in his personal political affiliations and has for many years managed his own Internet website where he has expressed his personal opinions on a variety of subjects. On this website Lennart Eriksson has voiced support for Israel and the USA as pillars of democracy. His employers have known about the website for many years.

Conservative politics “not mainstream”

Over the past five years, up to September 2007, Lennart Eriksson served as manager of an asylum assessment unit. On his return from a year-long leave of absence during which he completed his doctoral thesis, he was immediately called to a meeting with the newly appointed operational manager. The manager informed Eriksson that he had seen his website and that Lennart Eriksson’s Conservative views were both “unusual” and controversial. The manager was particularly opposed to Lennart Eriksson’s support for Israel and the USA and his online description of WW2 US general George Patton as one of the heroes of the Second World War. Lennart Eriksson was then summarily informed that he had been demoted.

In response, Lennart Eriksson sued the Swedish Migration Board in county court. Eriksson’s view is that he has in practice been fired from his job as asylum assessment unit manager, camouflaged in the form of a transfer. Lennart Eriksson feels that whatever the final legal outcome regarding the terminology – demotion or transfer – there is no cause for this move. The Migration Board confirms that Lennart Eriksson has been transferred as a result of the opinions he expressed on his private website. Opinions that are not against anything, but rather for certain beliefs – Conservative politics and democratic countries, specifically Israel and the USA.

Freedom of expression in danger in Sweden

The right to freely express opinions on political, cultural and social issues without risk of reprisal is the very foundation of a democratic society. Freedom of expression, which is protected in Sweden by the Constitution, does not provide unlimited freedoms but it is nonetheless a very far-reaching right indeed. The opinions that Lennart Eriks­son expresses are based in their entirety on a strong democratic foundation whose cornerstone is the unassailable affirmation of every individual’s equal human value. Lennart Eriksson’s opinions are politically Conservative. These opinions may naturally be disputed within certain quarters, not least among a largely left-leaning media. They may not always be regarded as politically correct in a society where there is a strong innate tendency towards conformity. However, these views are nonetheless shared to a large extent by the entire Swedish government, a coalition that is led by a Conservative majority. A long history of Social Democratic control at the helm of the nation and of the Swedish Migration Board, however, has left a very firm imprint on both the nation’s media and various state departments – not least the Migration Board.

Political persecution

Political persecution is not easily identified in a country where generations of citizens have been brought up to hear that this sort of thing does not occur in Sweden. If someone in another country had suffered the treatment to which Lennart Eriksson has been subjected – the more so in a State-run and State-funded department – the victim would in fact have been entitled to seek and thus be granted political asylum in Sweden.

The Swedish Migration Board fulfils a vital social function. Protecting human rights and offering asylum to victims of persecution are among the Board’s central roles. However, the Swedish Migration Board reveals that it will not hesitate to pursue its own employees for their political beliefs. Consequently, the Swedish Migration Board’s credibility in its everyday operations – operations of immense sensitivity to the nation’s security – is being rapidly undermined and risks total collapse.

By supporting an operational manager who displays a remarkable lack of education, an embarrassing shortfall in historical perspective and a penchant for prejudice coloured by personal political belief, the Swedish Migration Board has diluted the democratic nature of one of Europe’s oldest democracies.

Ilya Meyer
Gothenburg, Sweden

Ilya Meyer is a writer and translator living in Sweden. He has also lived for a number of years in Israel and is well acquainted with both the Swedish and Israeli international and domestic political scenes.

Ilya Meyer has been a long-time Israel advocate in Sweden and is a frequent contributor to the printed media as well as appearing on radio and TV. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Information of the Gothenburg Jewish Community, is Vice-Chairman of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Society, West Sweden Branch and a former board member of the Interfaith Dialogue Group, West Sweden Division.

His two eldest children left Sweden to serve in combat units in the IDF and his two younger children are studying in the UK and Sweden at university and school respectively.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sweden Cuts Down Asylum Grants to Iraqi Refugees

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Only 42 percent of Iraqi refugees were granted to stay in Sweden in January 2008, compared with 93 percent in the same month of last year, the Swedish Migration Board said Saturday.Sweden refused to give majority of Iraqi refugees asylum grants due to the decision made last December by the Swedish Superior Court of Migration, spokesman of the Swedish Migration Board Per Loman said in a statement.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Swedish Miner Dies After Collapse

One person has been found dead after a collapse in a mine in Kiruna, northern Sweden. The man was found at 4am after an eight hour search. The collapse is believed to have been caused by an earth tremor.

Sweden: Relatives Arrested Over Girl's Death

Two men have been held in connection with the death of a 16-year-old girl in Malmö. The girl believed to have been pushed from a balcony in an apartment block in the city's Hermodsdal district on Sunday evening.

The suspects, both of whom are related to the victim, were arrested near the building and taken in for overnight questioning. On Monday morning the public prosecutor ordered for them to be detained in custody on suspicion of murder or manslaughter.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sweden's Ericsson Slashes 1,000 Jobs After Profit Fall

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson is to cut 1,000 jobs in Sweden alone following a substantial fall in profits. The company's profits four the fourth quarter of 2007 were 7.6 billion kronor after financial items. This compares to 12.2 billion kronor in the same period in 2006.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Swedish Teetotallers Ban 'Gay Sermon' Preacher

Controversial pentecostalist pastor Åke Green has been barred from membership in Sweden's largest sobriety movement as a result of his views on homosexuals. The preacher from the Baltic Sea island of Öland received written notification on Tuesday of his expulsion from the teetotaller organization IOGT_NTO.

Sweden: House surrounded after shooting

Police have surrounded a house in Sollefteå in northern Sweden after a man was injured in a shooting incident on Wednesday morning. Police said a local specialized unit was on its way to the scene. "We believe that there are several people still in the house and that at least one person is armed," said police spokesman Christer Johansson. The injured man has been taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries, according to police.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nazi Victim's Heirs Lose Patience With Sweden Over Looted Nolde

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The heirs of a Jewish businessman forced to flee Germany before World War II appealed to the Swedish government to hasten the return of a looted painting by Emil Nolde that now hangs in Stockholm's Moderna Museet art museum. Otto Nathan Deutsch fled to Amsterdam, in late 1938 or early 1939, leaving his possessions, according to the heirs' lawyer, David Rowland of Rowland & Petroff in New York. Deutsch never got his belongings back.

``Blumengarten (Utenwarf)'' (``Flowergarden (Utenwarf)''), painted in 1917, surfaced in Switzerland in 1967 and was sold at auction to the Swedish museum, Rowland said. He estimates its value at $4 million. The heirs first contacted the Moderna Museet in 2002. Though Rowland declined to identify them by name, he said the heirs include a Holocaust survivor who was on a train headed for Auschwitz in the last days of the war and was only saved by the Soviet army's advance into defeated Nazi Germany.

``We are still waiting for Sweden to return this looted art,'' Rowland said in a telephone interview from New York. ``What they are doing is not correct, and we are fed up.''

Monday, January 28, 2008

More Swedes Attempt Suicide

The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up. The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attempted suicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group.

A total of 140,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2006 for 'deliberate self-destructive action', the official term used in medical registers for suicide attempts. Overdoses of tablets were most common.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Swedish Male Obesity to Weigh Heavy on Healthcare System

Young Swedish men have become so overweight that they may soon pose problems for the healthcare system, new research has shown. Researchers from Karolinska University Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed the weight patterns of more than 1.5 million Swedish young men in the period from 1969 to 2005. By the middle of the current decade, the prevalence of moderate obesity among Swedish males at the age of military conscription had almost quintupled, reaching a level of one in twenty young men. Morbid obesity was found to have increased tenfold over the same period, with one in every hundred men affected, said the researchers in a statement.

Sweden: SAS Flew Defective Planes 'For Years'

Airline SAS serviced routes for years using planes containing dangerous hidden construction errors, a Danish newspaper has reported. SAS permanently grounded its fleet of Dash Q-400 planes last October after a series of incidents. A report the previous month showed that 25 of the airline's 27 Dash planes contained landing gear with rusty parts. Further investigations have now shown that the filters on the landing gear's hydraulic systems were also faulty, Danish newspaper Politiken reports. The problem has been discovered on 16 of the 18 planes so far examined.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Doubling in Reported Cases of Insider Trading in Sweden

The number of reported cases of insider trading in Sweden more than doubled last year compared to 2006. In 2007, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority received 170 reports of suspected insider trading from businesses dealing in the buying and selling of shares. The equivalent total for 2006 amounted to 79 reports of suspicious dealings.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stockholm Exchange Continue to Slide

The Stockholm stock exchange was off to a rocky start on Wednesday morning on worrying financial news from around the globe. After dropping 1.9 percent in the first twenty minutes of trading, the exchange recovered slightly, but remains down more than 1 percent for the day.

Swedish Bank Rammed by Armed Robbers

Two men have escaped with an undisclosed sum of money following an armed robbery at a bank in Västerås on Tuesday morning. Using a small truck, the robbers smashed their way in to a Swedbank office in the town's Skiljebo Centre shortly after 9am. Staff at the bank were ordered to lie on the floor as the two masked men, believed to have been carrying a shotgun, quickly emptied a number of tills before leaving the premises.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sweden's Apartment Prices Keep Falling

Swedish apartment prices are continuing to fall and house prices have stagnated, according to figures published on Friday. The value of apartments in central Stockholm fell by 9 percent in the past three months, with an average flat now worth 50,500 kronor per square metre, according to Mäklarstatistik, which compiles statistics on behalf of the real estate industry. The figure represents an increase of 12 percent since a year ago, but is a substantial fall compared with the highs of 56,500 kronor in August last year.

Swedish Inflation at Record Level

Consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent from November to December, according to Statistics Sweden. The rate of inflation was 3.5 percent, compared to 3.3 percent in November. The December figure represents the highest level of inflation in Sweden in the past 14 years.Prices have not increased so sharply since January 1993, when inflation reached 4.8 percent.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Swedes More Pessimistic About Economy

An increasing number of Swedes believe that the country's economy will weaken in 2008, according to a new poll. In the poll, taken by Skop, 33.1 percent of people questioned said they thought the economic situation would worsen during the year, up from 30.7 percent in October.

Only 22.4 percent of those polled said that they thought the economy would improve this year, a fall of 5.7 percentage points since October. [...] "Pessimism is deeper than it has been for two-and-a-half years," said Skop analyst Örjan Hultåker.

Immigrant Children Coming to Sweden 'Like visitors From The Middle Ages'

Children who come to Sweden from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia can be likened to time travellers from the Middle Ages, according to a report commissioned by top education officials in Eskilstuna. Despite initially having approved the emergency report, schools chief Margareta Forsberg and department boss Rolf Brunell have both agreed to have a rethink following strong criticism of the wording in sections of the document. Arguing for more resources in the central Swedish town for schools with large numbers of recent immigrants, the report said these pupils often found themselves a thousand years behind their Swedish counterparts, Eskilstuna-Kuriren reports.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Homeless Swede Hijacks Korean Businessman's Identity

A homeless man from Gothenburg is facing prosecution after he was caught for the second time misappropriating the identity of a Korean businessman in order to obtain goods and services, Metro reports. The 46-year-old man, who is a registered user of a homeless shelter on the outskirts of the city, was previously sentenced to two years in jail after acquiring large quantities of electronic equipment under false premises.

Telia Sonera Loses Millions of Emails

According to an initial investigation by telecom giant Telia Sonera, a series of technical and administrative failures led to 300,000 customers losing emails in last week’s server crash. Trouble with the servers was first detected on December 15th, but went undetected because the person responsible for checking computer logs left the post on December 14th and wasn’t replaced. As a result, no one saw what was happening and no back-up was performed before the crash.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Secret Swedish Military Files Left in Library

A USB-memory stick loaded with secret documents from the Swedish Armed Forces was found in a Stockholm library, reports Aftonbladet. The secret documents included material related to Nato’s ISAF peace keeping force in Afghanistan, as well as an intelligence report from a private American security company analyzing the murder of the Sri Lankan foreign minister and the attempted assassination of Lebanon’s defence minister.

Swedish Opera Star Beltran Denies Rape Charges

A Swedish opera star has spoken out for the first time in response to accusations that he raped an 18-year-old nanny. Tito Beltran, 42, is accused of raping the woman at a hotel in Nötesjö in Skåne following a performance at a concert in the area. A number of other well-known Swedish performers were staying at the hotel, and have been interviewed in the police investigation.

Woman Raped by Three Men in Stockholm

A young woman was raped by three men in Solna, near Stockholm, in the early hours of Sunday. The woman was found by a taxi driver at around 12.30am. The rape is reported to have occurred at around midnight near a bus stop in Frösundavik. Police have so far been unable to make an arrest for the crime which has been designated as aggravated rape.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ferry Passengers Stranded For Twenty Hours

Ferries carrying around 200 passengers were stranded off the coast of southern Sweden for almost twenty hours in poor weather on Wednesday, unable to dock in the port of Trelleborg.
The Scandlines ship Mecklenburg-Vorpommern approached Trelleborg at 9pm on Wednesday after a voyage from Rostock, but knocked a fender into the water as it entered the port.Port authorities ruled that for safety reasons ships could not dock until the fender had been removed.

Buses Collide in Sweden, one Dead, 60 Hurt

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 3 Two buses collided head-on in central Sweden Thursday, killing one person and injuring as many as 60 others, police reported.The wreck involved a Russian tourist bus and a city bus near Gagnef, 150 miles northwest of Stockholm, The Local newspaper reported.Bo Eriksson, spokesman for Dalarna County Police, said seven of the 60 people hurt were listed in serious condition.

Malmö Man in Child Sex Probe

Prosecutors in Malmö are warning that a man who appeared in court on Thursday accused of sexual assaults on four girls could have attacked more children. The man, aged 50 and from Malmö, appeared in Malmö District Court to face charges of child rape over his attacks on two girls under 15. A further two attacks on girls over 15 have led to charges of sexual assault. "There could be more victims. We don't yet know," said prosecutor Thorbjörn Sjöberg.

Six Arrested Following Samurai Sword Attack in Karlstad

Six people were arrested and three taken to the hospital following a knife fight in Karlstad Wednesday night. “There was some sort of scuffle, and then a knife came out,” said Bjarne Andersson of the Värmland police. The clash involved two families in a store in the industrial area of Våxnäs outside of Karlstad. In addition to a knife, a sword was also involved in the fight.

HIV Infections on The Rise in Sweden

A record number of Swedes were infected with HIV in 2007. Stockholm’s intravenous drug users suffered a major outbreak which added to the high infection statistics. The virus strain is new and appears to have come from Finland.Through the middle of November 2007, forty-five new cases of HIV infections were discovered among drug addicts in Stockholm county. The figure is more than double the twenty-two cases confirmed in 2006 and significantly higher than the twenty-six cases recorded in 2005. “This is amounts to a real emergency,” said Åke Örtqvist, a doctor of infectious diseases in Stockholm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Boy Fights For Life After Firework Blast

Fireworks caused injuries to people and damage to property as 2008 was ushered in overnight in Sweden. One 16-year-old boy was left fighting for his life after an accident in Blekinge. The incident occurred in Långö in Karlskrona. As the boy walked up to a rocket which had apparently not caught light, it exploded in his face, according to police.

Sharp Rise in Swedish Road Deaths

A total of 470 people died on Sweden's roads in 2007 - some 40 more than the year before. An ongoing zero tolerance campaign has the target of reducing that sum to 270. On Wednesday the Swedish Road Administration will hold a press conference to explain the rise and the changes in the ten years since the zero tolerance decision was taken.

Grave Sites Sandalized in Helsingborg Sweden

Dozens of grave sites have been damaged by vandals in three separate Helsingborg cemeteries. As of nightfall on New Year’s Day police had confirmed 38 overturned stones, but according to Helsingborg Dagblad, the total number of overturned head stones may be as high as one hundred. Stones in the Old, New, and Donation Cemeteries have been overturned or damaged

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Stone-throwing Swedish youths force bus route closures

Bus operator Swebus has elected to shut down several stops in response to attacks by gangs of rock-throwing youths in Hovsjö and Ronna. Last Wednesday one bus suffered damage due to thrown rocks and on Thursday another bus was hit by fireworks. As a result, several bus stops were closed into the weekend.

Swebus drivers ventured out again this past Saturday evening and were once again met with thrown rocks. “They stand on the pedestrian bridges over the roads and throw rocks at us when we drive toward the city center. We simply can’t risk our drivers’ or passengers’ safety, said Kjell Hägglund, head of security for Swebus.