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Drunken Norwegians storm Strömstad

TT/Charlotte West · 2 Apr 2010, 10:23

Published: 02 Apr 2010 10:23 GMT+02:00

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"They come in their cars, blaring music as loudly as possible and they get drunk. Then they drive to a parking lot, continue to play music and drink," Henrik Rörberg of the Strömstad police told TT news agency.

When it began to get dark, police had arrested around 30 individuals for drunkenness. All of them were Norwegians.

"But everyone was still relatively well-mannered: there were no incidents of assault or property damage," Rörberg said.

The annual Norwegian pilgrimage to Strömstad on Maundy Thursday began early in the day. There are an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 visitors and at least 1,500 vehicles that descend upon the Swedish town of 6,000 each year. Police shut down several streets to reduce accessibility.

"But we make sure that (residents) are let through," Rörberg said.

For the third year in a row, the city's two state liquor shops (Systembolaget) were closed on Maundy Thursday.

"Since we started that we have noticed a major improvement. Violent crimes have been reduced and the order at the end of the day is significantly better since they can't get more booze during the day," Rörberg said.

In the evening, the Norwegian revelers returned to their native country, likely to continue the festivities there.

Story continues below…

Two police patrols from the Strömstad police also travelled across the border to support their Norwegian counterparts.

Strömstad is a favorite destination for Norwegian alcohol shoppers as Swedish alcohol prices are lower than those of their Nordic neighbours. In 2008, the local city council elected to close Systembolaget on Maundy Thursday in hopes of minimizing the havoc wreaked by the Norwegian invaders.

TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:56 April 2, 2010 by magudbe
What do you think?. I think I feel disgusted by the sheer double standard/hypocrisy that borders with xenophobia... Here You have two countries that regulate the most dangerus drug ever known to humans in Alcohol and ban and jail Ethnic Swedes and Norwegian for a harmless stimulant Khat, not based on science but because ppl who chew it are different. get stuffed?.
14:06 April 2, 2010 by Elton John
If you want to stop these drunk Norwegians, make sure to vote SD! Or, wait ... will that work?
15:28 April 2, 2010 by Soft Boiled
As long as they behave I say live and let live. Life doesnt get much better than drinking alcohol in a carpark - im just off to my local carpark with a can of Special Brew.

If people in Strömsad were smart they would organise "The Norwegian Festival" with music and food and let Swedes get to know their neighbours a little better. It could be a cool with norwegian and swedish bands.. etc.
16:55 April 2, 2010 by jack sprat
They generally get well tanked up on the ferry before landing,cheap duty free booze by their standards,the main reason for the visit.

Therefore closing down system bollox only has a limited effect.

If they are still standing on the return trip, they then stock up with as much as they are allowed to carry home.
17:01 April 2, 2010 by Greg in Canada
Sounds like fun if you're young. They're well behaved so its not such a big deal. I'm sure the Swedish cops must turn a blind eye to most of the goings on. BTW - I can buy a six pack of beer in Canada for about what they pay for one bottle in Norway. Obviously making booze ridiculously expensive doesn't hinder Norwegian drinking rates.
18:58 April 2, 2010 by cbeynch
I'm appalled! It's time for Sweden to introduce visa restrictions, fortify the border, and profile every border crosser from Norway! This can not be allowed to continue! Before we know it we'll all be speaking Norwegian, this incomprehensible, guttural, gibberish that poses for their national tongue. Save Sweden and Swedish culture. Stop the Norwegians now! Where is SD when we need them?
20:51 April 2, 2010 by izbz
The border police must be having a great time getting a blow j¤b
21:14 April 2, 2010 by mjennin2
Wait...do I understand this correctly? The one time of the year in which local swedish liquor shops could be making a boat load of profits (which benefit the local swedes, of course) off of stupidly drunk foreigners...and they shut the shops down??? I highly doubt this will prevent them from just bringing their own booze or showing up tanked already. That's kinda how kids roll. ;) I say, leave the shops open so that they can make some bank, and then possibly share some of those profits with the town to clean up afterwards? Makes business sense to me???
22:31 April 2, 2010 by Chicago Z
This is hysterical!! Why do these morons pick Maundy Thursday to get hammered? And why go to Sweden to do it? The USA has alcoholics, and college students here tend to do binge drinking, too. But from what I've read lately binge drinking is getting way out of hand in England. Are Norwegians next? Or is this the One Night Out for young people that see no purpose in life?

It's good to know that stupidity knows no boundaries!

My great-grandfather came from Stavanger, and I have relatives there, so I have more than a passing interest in what goes on in Norway.
22:43 April 2, 2010 by Weekend_warrior
Why on Maundy Thursday? Well, in my humble opinion....for the same reasons as Fat Tuesday, St. Patricks Day, Cinco de Mayo, Labor Day.

And if you're a family man....same as Christmas, Hanukkah , Easter and every Sunday
23:13 April 2, 2010 by Nora
"Strömstad is a favorite destination for Norwegian alcohol shoppers as Swedish alcohol prices are lower than those of their Nordic neighbours."

You must be kidding!
07:25 April 3, 2010 by Le Français
I don't get the difference between a drunken norwegian and a drunken swede
08:45 April 3, 2010 by Nemesis
Sweden is supposed to want to export more, so open systembolagot and sell them as much as possible at the border.

Also organise it into a festival, with accomodation, bands, entertainment, market stalls etc. Turn it into a business oppertunity, not a puritan reaction.
12:53 April 4, 2010 by mieoux
This is hilarious! Norwegians are fun!
17:41 April 4, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@Nemesis: FYI, Systembolaget already know this: their largest and most profitable stores are located along the Norwegian border...
23:43 April 4, 2010 by Homesoul
I don't know why they party hard on a Thursday? Why can't they do it on Friday or Saturday? Is this like a Spring Break? Also,had those Norwegians You Tubed their events?
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