Queen Silvia of Sweden reports newspapers
Queen Silvia has reported several newspapers to the Press Ombudsman. The report is in response to the photo montage made by controversial artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, in which the king and his friends are standing around a declining naked body (that of artist Camilla Henemark), covered with pizza Queen Silvia is kneeling on the floor, brushing a swastika under the rug. The title of the piece is: “Om detta må vi berätta” (About this we may talk), and it has been published by several newspapers. The report to the Ombudsman, signed by Riskmarskalk Svante Lindkvist, states: “The photo montage in combination with the title conveys the message that Her Majesty the Queen has sought to swipe Nazism under the rug (…). This allegation is unfounded. The Queen has never harbored Nazi sympathies.” Editor in chief at daily Expressen, Thomas Mattsson, writes on his blog: “It is reasonable that the Queen’s criticism of several of Sweden’s biggest media becomes known.” Expressen published the montage, as did Aftonbladet, and Sydsvenskan. All in all, four newspapers have been reported. The artist herself, Elisabet Ohlson Wallin, commented on the report via Twitter, saying: “The Queen reports all the papers that have shown my picture of the king. It’ll be exciting to see now whether art in Sweden is free or not.”

Survivor’s goodie bags
Noodles, coffee and – condoms. That’s what will help students at the Linnaeus University (located in Växjö and Kalmar) survive the last days before their study allowance arrives. The free goodie bag is handed out by Studentkåren (the Students’ union) in concern over students’ poor economy. “Swedish students belong to one of those groups in society who suffers the most financially,” says Ulrika Ehrenstråhle, responsible for the social-study department at Linnéstudenterna, the local students’ union. A total of 200 “survival goodie bags” will be handed out to the union’s members in Kalmar and Växjö on Thursday. The goodie bag includes toilet paper, dry soup mix, coffee, condoms, noodles, and a folder with tips on how to save money. Apart from helping students who are in dire straits days before their monthly allowance, this is also a way for the union to put the difficult financial conditions most students are in, in focus. Every other student in Sweden cannot make it on the student allowances alone, but needs more money from elsewhere, according to a study made by Nordea last fall. And in a poll made by Sweden’s joined students’ unions, students in average run at a loss of 740 SEK ($117) monthly. The most common way to counteract these problems, is to take a job while studying.

No presents for Princess Estelle, please
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel ask that nobody outside the family give any birthday presents to their baby Princess Estelle on her first birthday (February 23). They ask instead that people who want to give the baby something donate money to Kronprinsessparets Bröllopsstiftelse (the Crown Princess Couple’s Wedding Foundation), a foundation that was established in connection with the couple’s 2010 wedding, and which has as its objective to promote good health and counteract alienation among children and youth. Last year the foundation gave money to six different projects, the year before to three. Victoria and Daniel have been fairly restrictive when it comes to media’s attention around little Estelle. Up until her christening last May, more or less all photos of Estelle were taken by a family member or by a photographer chosen by the royal court. When Victoria herself was a child, it was her father King Carl Gustaf who took the photos of her during the first few years. These strategies mean that it is the royal court itself that supplies the press with photographic material. The only longer interview with Victoria and Daniel focusing on their parenthood was done in conjunction with Swedish television’s annual review of the royal family. Estelle was nine months old then, had just begun crawling, liked to walk with support, and didn’t sleep through the nights because of teething. The couple described parenthood like most other harmonious couples do during that first period with the baby. Now Swedish media is rife with questions: Will Estelle get a new nanny? Will she begin daycare? But these are questions the royal court doesn’t want to answer. In the interview on TV, Victoria and Daniel emphasized their wish to keep their private life just that; private.

Few choose split “barnbidrag”
Few Swedish parents have swallowed the bait to split the “barnbidrag” (child benefit), something that’s possible if parents live apart and the child lives periodically with each of them. 160,000 children have been living just as much with both parents, but only 25,400 benefits have been split since the option was introduced in 2006. The government is now overlooking the rules and a bill will be added later in the year, according to daily Dagens Nyheter. The government wants to remove the opportunity for one parent to stop the splitting. How this is to be done is not yet clear. The “barnbidrag” in Sweden was introduced in 1937, when it was subject to a means test. A general “barnbidrag” for all Swedes came in 1948 and was then 260 SEK ($41) per year per child (the equivalent of 4597.75 SEK or $726). Today the “barnbidrag” is 1050 SEK ($166) per month for all children up to age 16.

Top Swedish hospitals
Here are the hospitals in Sweden that give you the best care: Universitetssjukhuset in Linköping, Länssjukhuset Ryhov in Jönköping and Oskarshamns sjukhus in Oskarshamn. The paper Dagens Medicin has ranked the best Swedish hospitals in three categories: university hospitals, mid-size hospitals and smaller hospitals. “We have chosen to present the positive and hope it will become an incentive for others,” says editor in chief of Dagens Medicin, Mikael Nestius. The hospitals were ranked by comparisons; for instance how many survived a stroke or how many suffered difficulties during birth. There were also national web questionnaires sent out to find out how the hospitals managed their care, and how they dealt with infections during care.