• 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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Getinge Floods
Rain to continue 'all week' as flood worsens
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Rain to continue 'all week' as flood worsens

UPDATED: Sweden's weather agency issued a severe weather warning for the extreme rains and flooding in southern Sweden, adding that the rains are likely to continue all week. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'
Bildt in Baghdad on Monday. Photo: Karim Kadim/TT

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'

After meeting with refugees and politicians in Iraq on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Sweden must increase its efforts to help Iraq reach a lasting solution. READ  

Swedes slam 'racist' art show from Denmark
One of the participants in the art project. Photo: Anna Andrea Malzer, Global Stories

Swedes slam 'racist' art show from Denmark

Swedes have gathered in numbers to protest against a Danish "blackface" art show in Malmö, which organizers say is supposed to give "a deeper understanding of discrimination". READ  

Presented by Stockholm School of Economics
Swedish school with executive appeal
Photo: Stockholm School of Economics

Swedish school with executive appeal

More and more executives are combining work with further education, namely an MBA. The Local explains just how the process works at the Stockholm School of Economics with its Executive MBA program. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Ever wanted to live in a loft-like apartment on the hip district of Södermalm, with a view like something out of a colourful children's book? Check out The Local's Property of the Week. READ  

Sweden to get 100,000 refugees in 2014: report
Refugees in Iraq. Photo: Khalid Mohammed/TT

Sweden to get 100,000 refugees in 2014: report

UPDATED: Sweden can expect a record-breaking 100,000 refugees to arrive this year, reported Swedish media on Tuesday. The Migration Board said the prognosis was officially 60,000 in July. READ  

Swedish town on alert over toilet invader
The man pictured is not the Bajsmannen. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedish town on alert over toilet invader

A town in central Sweden is on the lookout after a mystery suspect has repeatedly broken into apartments and defecated in their toilets. READ  

Riksbank: We must take action on household debt
Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Riksbank: We must take action on household debt

The Swedish economy is beginning to recover after several difficult years - but the risk for household indebtedness remains high, Swedish Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves warned. READ  

Assange extradition battle
'Assange to stay put until US guarantee': lawyer
Photo: John Stillwell/TT

'Assange to stay put until US guarantee': lawyer

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden for rape allegations, has made it clear he will not leave the Ecuador embassy in London until it is guaranteed he will not be extradited to the US. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
TT
Politics
Why is feminism such a hot topic in Sweden?
National
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
National
RIP Åle, the world's oldest eel
Society
Introducing: The Swedish crayfish party
National
Stockholm bus spontaneously combusts
Travel
Top five tips for climbing Sweden's tallest mountain
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
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

663
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