Swedish krona getting stronger
For the first time since 2006, one euro cost less than 9 kronor. Some of the reasons might be the excellent Swedish public finances and the fact that the Riksbank has started to raise the interest rate, something that neither ECB nor the Federal Reserve have done yet. This is of course good news for Swedes who travel abroad during the holidays or for everyone when they buy imported products. At the same time, it is not such good news for the export industry. Cecilia Hermansson, chief economist at Swedbank says to the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) that most Swedish export companies are well equipped for a higher exchange rates. Many have currency insurances that protect them, and many also benefit from the appreciation since they import components to their products. “There are some manufacturers that don’t have unique goods and they will be affected by increased competition, but Swedish export industry is of high quality and competes in other ways,” she says.

Warning for Jews in Malmö exaggerated
The Jewish congregation in Malmö says that the warning issued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles against visiting Malmö is exaggerated but not totally without ground. Several persons who show publicly that they are Jewish say they’ve been verbally harassed, and in some cases, items have been thrown at them. Among the perpetrators one finds both Muslim fundamentalists and extreme nationalists.

Queen Silvia payback?
King Carl XVI Gustaf has broken with his former best buddies. After the publication of the scandalous book “Carl XVI Gustaf—den motvillige monarken (Carl XVI Gustaf—The Reluctant Monarch), Silvia demands him to turn them down, according to Expressen newspaper. The proof? At the annual Christmas party at Noppes, the guest of honor (the King) never showed up. Instead he was at home at Drottningholm Palace. This is the sort of party at which the King has always been the centerpiece; the rest of his buddies met at the members' club Noppes in central Stockholm (managed by the King’s former(?) best friend Noppe Lewenhaupt) and had to celebrate without the monarch. Actually the King has been out of touch with a number of his previous buddies for several weeks now. When the book came out, the royal court was forced to take action as everyone in the royal family felt upset by it, especially Silvia. According to Expressen she is deeply disappointed and angered by the situation with the King and blames his friends. Says another friend of the King, Aje Philipson, about the book and the whole situation: “It’s behind us now, we’re turning the page.”

“Gnesta-Kalle” has died
Rune Gnestadius, also known as “Gnesta-Kalle,” died at his home in Gnesta. Gnestadius, whose signature was his accordion, became a beloved host for the radio program “Våra favoriter” (Our Favorites) and also hosted programs from Skansen in Stockholm. He was 83 years old.