Swedish News

Obama honors Raoul Wallenberg. First zero energy school. Glassworks in Småland: environmental threats. Horse meat – more popular. Kent Finell has passed away. Goat - new symbol for Gävle. 

  • American President Barack Obama canceled his meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and will instead meet bilaterally with Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on September 4-5.
  • Obama honors Raoul Wallenberg
    During his Sweden visit, President Obama will visit Stockholm’s Great Synagogue, where the Jewish community will gather to honor Raoul Wallenberg’s memory. Among other items on the agenda is a lexture on Wallenberg’s actions during WW2, and invited to the ceremony are, also among others, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, according to daily Expressen. As Nordstjernan reported earlier, Sweden is viewed as a ”high risk” country by the U.S., and one police source told Expressen: ”What has happened in Malmö and other places in Sweden, has received attention in international media. It has obviously not passed by American security unnoticed. Such a threatening picture becomes very relevant to an American president, since the U.S. is a strong ally of Israel.” Also on Obama’s schedule during his visit to Stockholm is the royal palace. ”The King and Silvia will receive the president and we hope Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel also will participate,” says a source at the royal Swedish court. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has not gotten any indications that the situation in Syria will affect Obama’s Sweden visit. ”Our attitude is that we prepare ourselves for President Obama next week, but everyone understands that it may be affected by the development in Syria,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told TT.

  • Popular radio personality Kent Finell has passed away, he was 69.
  • First zero energy school
    Scandinavia's first so called zero energy school, which produces at least as much energy as it uses, was inaugurated this week in Alingsås. This according to local media. Energy Minister Anna-Karin Hatt visited Stadsskogsskolan, the school, has two floors and a 14, 240 square feet large sun cell panel on the roof, supposedly the biggest in Sweden. This panel will provide all the energy needed, but passive house (a rigorous, voluntary, standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint) will also be used, according to daily Göteborgs-Posten.

  • Stockholm Stora Synagogue celebrates Rosh Hashanah, and the announcement of Ute Steyer's January 2015 installation as the first female rabbi in Sweden. Photo courtesy of pntphoto/Pavel Trebukov via Creative Commons license
  • Glassworks in Småland: environmental threats
    Glass from Småland is beautiful, but it's also a threat to the environment. A survey from Sweden’s county administrative boards, shows that ten of the country’s 22 most polluted places are in fact the glassworks in Småland, according to SVT News. In the past, glass used to contain toxic arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Large quantities of broken glass has over the years been thrown out on the grounds around the glassworks cabins, and in many places the arsenic content has been far above the threshold measured in the groundwater.

  • Many locals in Gävle feel the goat doesn't necessarily belong as a symbol of their hometown. "It rightfully belongs in the province Hälsingland, which has a coat of arms with a golden goat on black background..."
  • Horse meat – more popular
    In spite of, or perhaps thanks to, the horse meat scandal last spring, horse meat is selling better this year compared to last, according to statistics from Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture). ”We see a great interest, people ask for it,” says Mickey Lindberg, business manager for the grocery store Daglivs in Stockholm. And even the supermarket chains take note of the increased interest. ”We see a greater interest in horse meat, especially in the bigger cities, and we sell around 10% more than we did during the same period last year,” says Christine Kullgren, press officer at Coop, the Swedish hypermarket

  • The dishwashing detergent Yes, one of the strongest Swedish brands. It is originally a British dishwashing detergent called Fairy, produced by Procter & Gamble.
  • Kent Finell has passed away
    Radio personality Kent Finell has passed away. Finell died at a Stockholm hospital after a short period of illness, according to Radio P4. His partner told Nöjesbladet that Finell went to the hospital last Sunday: ”He was very sick, with extremely high fever, a quick pulse and more. It’s unclear if he got some bacteria abroad or if there was something else,” says Jahn Backström, the partner. Finell was a popular radio host for programs like ”På väg”, ”Gomorron”, ”Kavalkad”, and of course, ”Svensktoppen”, the latter which he hosted for 20 years between 1973-1975, during 1979, 1980, and 1987-2002. Finell also produced the popular radio show ”Frukostklubben” with Sigge Fürst. Finell was born in Karlstad and moved to Stockholm in the late 1960’s, he spent his last years mostly in Spain. Colleagues remember him with great respect, fellow radio host Ulf Elfving says Finell had a unique voice: ”It was a very personal and friendly voice. And his Värmland accent added to it, making him sound as friendly as he was. It is that voice and his friendly way that I will remember.” Kent Finell was 69 years old.

  • A goat in the shape of the letter G will be the new symbol for the city Gävle. Most Swedes are familiar with the Gävle goat, the story of which began in 1966: Every year around Christmas a giant straw goat in placed at the Slottstorget in Gävle, and every year the goat is, illegally, burnt down.
  • Goat – new symbol for Gävle
    A ”bock”, that is a goat, in the shape of the letter G is the city of Gävle’s new symbol. The symbol is meant to be used by organizations interested in promoting the city, according to daily Gefle Dagblad. ”If for instance the college wants to say something about Gävle and what we have here in an ad, they can use this symbol,” says Tove Elvelid, business manager at Gävle Municipality, to Gefle Dagblad. Every year Gävle municipality spends one million SEK ($154,000) on marketing and branding, and the G-goat is part of this project.