• Sweden edition
 
The Year in Review
Sweden's biggest news stories in 2012

Sweden's biggest news stories in 2012

Published: 21 Dec 2012 17:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Dec 2012 17:01 GMT+01:00

A lot can happen in a year, and 2012 was no exception.

With the new year just around the corner, we took some time to sift through the hundreds of stories that appeared on The Local in the past 12 months.

After a thorough review, we identified a few news stories that not only dominated Sweden's domestic news agenda, but also put Sweden in the headlines abroad.

The birth of Princess Estelle

On a morning in late February, Swedes awoke to news that a very pregnant Crown Princess Victoria had been taken to hospital. A few hours later, the Royal Court made news of the royal birth official:

The Marshall of the Realm is happy to announce that H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria on Thursday the 23rd of Februrary 2012 at 04.26 gave birth to a daughter.

Both mother and child are doing well.

Related articles

--Live Blog: Sweden celebrates new princess

--Naming princess Estelle a 'political statement' by Swedish Royal Family

--Estelle baptized in 'historic' ceremony

The birth of the new princess, later christened Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland, was a high point for Sweden's monarchy, which has struggled with a bout of bad publicity in the last couple of years.

Not only is the birth of Sweden's future head of state significant for the country, the royal birth – Sweden's first in more than three decades – attracted a huge amount of international media attention as well, as did her baptism in May.

Loreen's Eurovision win

Sweden went mad with Eurovision mania in May, when Loreen took home the title for the Swedes in Azerbaijan with her hit Euphoria.

Sweden was behind the singer from the beginning, voting her through in the preliminary Melodifestivalen rounds, and holding their collective breath for the finals in Baku.

Loreen’s whirling and shadowy dance routine in the live performance prompted fan videos from around the world, including one we featured from the UK with dancing animals at a wildlife park.

Related articles

--Loreen win gives Sweden Eurovision 'Euphoria'

--UK wildlife park animals catch ‘Euphoria’ fever

--Fans divided as Malmö to host Eurovision 2013

In July, officials confirmed the 2013 Eurovision finals would be held in Malmö, southern Sweden. The news baffled some Stockholm fans and disappointed some Gothenburgers, whose cities had also been in the running to host the event.

While the 2013 competition to elect Sweden's entrant has yet to get underway, Swedes and music fans across Europe are already setting their sights on Malmö to see who will claim the title next.

Exit Juholt, enter Löfven

After 10 tumultuous months marred by scandal and questions about his leadership, Håkan Juholt resigned as leader of the opposition Social Democrat Party in February, giving way to union boss Stefan Löfven.

The previous head of the powerful IF Metall union helped bring much needed stability to the party, which was stuck in an extended struggle to recover from the dismal election results in 2010 that prompted then-party leader Mona Sahlin to resign.

Related articles

--Union boss tipped as new Social Democrat head

--Silence is golden for Social Democrats' Löfven

--Social Democrats return to top of Swedish politics

Löfven gave the party a bump in polls and, by keeping a low profile, allowed voters and the party to focus on other matters.

Despite an extended period of calm under Löfven's leadership, the electoral prospects of the Social Democrats in 2014 remain uncertain.

Sweden's Twitter success

This year was also a big year for Sweden, or should we say @sweden, when it came to social media.

Officials at Visit Sweden and the Swedish Institute launched an initiative where a different Swede took over the @sweden Twitter account each week – and the world listened.

It didn't hurt that some of the curators issued a few head-turning tweets, including posts about masturbation and one including a picture of a curator breastfeeding.

And The Local was right in the thick of it when US comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert got wind of the account after the world was collectively outraged and curious about Sonja Abramsson’s tweets that asked "what's the fuzz with Jews?"

Related articles

--Storm over 'official' Jew tweets from Sweden

--Colbert dares Sweden: 'Take a chance on me!'

--Sweden says no to Colbert Twitter takeover

Colbert launched his own campaign to take over the account himself, but Swedish officials eventually brushed him off, remaining true to their initial guidelines that state only Swedish citizens can Tweet be @sweden.

The account currently has almost 70,000 followers, and has inspired similar national accounts far and wide.

Racist cake and other debates

Sweden's Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth dished up a heaping portion of global outrage when she cut into a cake at the opening of an art exhibit in Stockholm in April

The cake was designed to reflect widely held stereotypes of a black woman’s body, but when the artist Makode Linde, who was hiding inside, started screaming, it created a scene which caused people around the world to drop their forks in shock.

The minster's racist cake cutting drew sharp criticism from African-Swedes, civil rights groups abroad, and even from Swedish pop queen Robyn.

Adelsohn Liljeroth apologized but ignored calls for her resignation.

Related articles

--Minister in 'racist circumcision outrage'

--'Racist' ads removed for Swedish kids' film

--Black doll cut from Swedish Disney mash-up

Cutting the cake, some said, conjured up images of female genital mutilation, a practice widely considered barbaric but still practiced by some African communities, increasingly in secret.

The incident was one of several which prompted Swedes to debate racial stereotypes in 2012, including the decision to remove Tintin comic books from library shelves, and questions about whether a children's book with multicoloured characters may have also had racist overtones.

And just last week, public opinion was divided once again over whether it was right to delete scenes from Swedes' much-loved Christmas Eve Disney mash-up.

Fantastic football feats

After Sweden's dismal performance at the Euro 2012 football tournament this spring, many fans wondered if the year would give them anything to cheer about.

But a couple of incredible performances later in the year have all but overshadowed Sweden's Euro disappointment, buoying hopes that Erik Hamrén's side may yet achieve greatness in the next big international tournament – the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

In October, the men's national side mounted an unprecedented comeback against Germany, salvaging a draw after being down by four goals, in what the Swedish press hailed as the "miracle in Berlin".

Related articles

--Swedish press hails 'miracle in Berlin'

--Zlatan nets four as Sweden claim victory

--Praise aplenty for Zlatan after 'best goal ever' (includes video)

A few weeks later, Sweden's football fans were in for another unexpected treat when star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic single-handedly beat England, scoring four goals, including a spectacular bicycle kick many commentators claimed was the best football goal ever scored.

Of course, it remains to be seen if this pair of noteworthy performances will be the exception or the rule as Sweden continues its World Cup qualifying campaign.

The fall of the Swedish economy

In 2011, the Swedish economy was fêted far and wide for somehow managing to avoid being sucked into the financial woes that had dogged the rest of Europe.

But the Swedish economy steadily lost its sheen in 2012, proving that not even the much-vaunted and mythical "Swedish model" managed by Finance Minister Anders Borg could withstand the effects of the eurozone debt crisis.

Related articles

--Swedish economy hit by eurozone troubles

--Sweden budget bill sparks heated debate

--Sweden slashes 2013 growth forecast

Already by February, statistics revealed that the juggernaut Swedish economy that broke growth records in 2011 was set for a much more sluggish 2012, prompting a series of interest rate cuts by the Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, and forcing Borg to lower continually his previous bullish growth forecasts.

Borg also found himself in the hot seat when he presented the budget, drawing criticism for overly optimistic predictions and deficit spending.

While the government likes to tell voters that its policies have kept Sweden better off than many other countries, heading into 2013, it appears that perhaps the Swedish economy may not be as exceptional as previously thought.

The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

977
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN