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Swedish report Swedish report
by Euro Reporter
2009-10-22 07:12:37
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Far-right member motions death penalty

During the annual congress of the far-right political party the Sweden Democrats, Joakim Larsson, chair of the Uppsala branch, has called for the introduction of the death penalty in Sweden. In a motion, he proposed that those convicted of serious crimes should be able to be sentenced to death.

Citing criminal cases where the death penalty could have been enforced, Uppsala Nya Tiding newspaper writes that Larsson makes reference to Stig Bergling, the former Swedish police officer who spied for the Soviet Union in the 1970s. He also mentions Anders Eklund, the man convicted of murdering 10-year-old Engla Höglund in Dalarna in 2008, who is now serving a life sentence.

Board members have already proposed to reject the motion but undeterred by the move, Larsson claims many within the party are in favour of capital punishment. The Sweden Democrats previously backed the death penalty for certain murder cases and treason, but removed the proposal from their manifesto in 1998.


Royal wedding, military’s attention

The Swedish Armed Forces are beginning preparations for next year's royal nuptials and anticipate sending 3,000 soldiers to stand guard when Sweden’s Crown Princess Victories marries Daniel Westling in June. The Life Guards regiment, with barracks based in Stockholm, have been given the job of coordinating military presence in the capital and overseeing the number of soldiers that will line the city streets.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Beck-Friis Häll told the Blekinge Läns Tidning newspaper there is no shortage of interest to take part in the event.  ”When the king and queen married in 1976 the cortège procession was flanked by 2,300 soldiers,” he said.  “We expect to have at least as many this time.”

Marine units will provide the majority of personnel and the 1st Marine Regiment in Stockholm are considering sending as many as 600 soldiers from the Victoria battalion alone.  The royal wedding takes place on June 19 at Storkyrkan in Stockholm's Old Town.


Swedish pastor fined for fingering figs

A Church of Sweden pastor has been convicted of shoplifting and ordered to pay a 5,100 kronor ($734) fine for stealing, among other things, a jar of figs marinated in cognac. The pastor showed remorse as the sentence was passed down. "Of course I regret my actions," the pastor said.

The owner of the shop in Småland in southern Sweden was able to witness the light-fingered pastor at work on a surveillance monitor. He initially did not intend to report the pastor and instead came to an agreement that she would pay for the jar of figs and for other items stolen from the store, to a value of 1,500 kronor. But the rumours began to circulate around the small Kronoberg community and even found the ear of the senior pastor in the parish and the bishop of the diocese.

The church officials subsequently urged the merciful shopkeeper to report the matter to the police. The pastor explained that her actions were compulsive obsessive and admitted to suffering from kleptomania, regretting that her anxiety expressed itself in such a way. "I can only hope that people understand that God is greater than our human imperfections," the pastor said.


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