• 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
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
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

739
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
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
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