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SWEDE OF THE WEEK

OFFBEAT

Swedish teen hits gold with love tweets to PM

A perky Swedish schoolgirl with a wry sense of humour has suddenly found herself with thousands of fans fascinated with details of her fictional crush on Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, making her our pick for Swede of the Week.

“Imagine you and Reinfeldt sending silly snapchats to eachother ♡,” reads the maiden tweet from the @imaginreinfeldt Twitter account.

The tweet is accompanied with a picture of the Swedish prime minister in profile, a finger on his nose as he stares at a microphone, apparently deep in thought.

 

 

Since taking its place in the twittosphere on the evening of September 8th, a mere four days ago at time of writing, the account has attracted more than 3,200 followers, much to the surprise of its creator, 14-year-old Ebba.

“The response has been great fun. It's great to know that I'm able to make people laugh,” she says.

When contacted by The Local on her mobile phone, Ebba is in gym class, huffing along on a run with her fellow sixth graders in Hallen, a community of 200 residents on the shores of Storsjön lake in Åre municipality in northern Sweden.

“I really never imagined this would attract any attention. I did it because I thought it was fun,” she explains when asked about the Twitter account.

 

 

Ebba says she first began to reflect on the gold mine of humour hidden beneath the prime minister's austere exterior when she was 11-years-old, around the time of Sweden's last general election when Reinfeldt and his government earned a second term in office.

“He has this appearance that is somewhat serious. But I think he looks a lot like a puppy dog,” she says.

“I've always thought he's sort of an amusing guy who is easy to make fun of.”

 

 

Over the past couple of years, Ebba, a girl with a “special sense of humour who likes to joke about inappropriate topics” offered up a range of Reinfeldt-inspired quips to her friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Seeing Reinfeldt's face plastered on the television and the front pages of newspapers during last week's visit of US President Barack Obama prompted Ebba to think anew about the next step in her ever-evolving Reinfeldt joke meme.

“I'd gotten a lot of positive responses to my postings on social media,” she explains.

“And I had all these ideas of imagining Reinfeldt in different made-up scenes, so I decided to launch an entire Twitter account dedicated to the joke of having a crush on Reinfeldt.”

 

 

Ebba, who is currently single, emphasizes that flirtatious Twitter account is “totally made up” and that she in no way harbours feelings for Reinfeldt, who finalized his divorce from his wife Filippa in February 2013 after two decades of marriage.

Nor does she harbour any political leanings of her own.

“I'm not into politics. I don't have any real political opinions of my own. The account is meant to be totally neutral,” she says.

All the @imaginreinfeldt tweets are written in English, Ebba says, for the simple fact that “everything sounds much funnier in English”.

While Ebba has yet to meet Reinfeldt face-to-face, she knows exactly what she'd do should the opportunity arise.

“I'd simply tell him he's really lovely,” she says.

“And then I'd give him a big hug.”

Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who – for good or ill – has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

SEE ALSO: A list of The Local's past Swedes of the Week

David Landes

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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