Border bottle shop to close over Easter

Swedish authorities will close the Systembolaget bottle shop this Thursday at the border town of Strømstad, in a bid to curb Norwegian drunkenness over the Easter break. Thousands of young Norwegians travel to the area each year to kick off their ‘russ’ celebrations, marking their final semester before high school graduation. Maundy Thursday is traditionally […]

Swedish royals snub anniversary

The Swedish king and queen have reportedly declined an invitation to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution, grunnloven. The document announcing Norway’s freedom and independence was signed on May 17, 1814, just after Norway had been taken from Denmark and awarded to Sweden following the Napoleonic Wars. Both the Danish and Swedish royals had […]

Border trade rises again

More Norwegians are heading across the border to do their shopping than ever before. New figures from the state statistics bureau SSB shows that Norwegians have spent NOK 11.7 billion in Sweden during the past year, a 9 percent increase from the year before. The number of day trips made over the border rose by […]

Norway nurtures closer military ties to Sweden

Norwegian Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide has called Sweden “our foremost partner within military material,” especially rolling stock, and is backing up the claim with around NOK 10 billion worth of defense purchases. Just four years ago, Sweden was angry and disappointed when Norway opted to buy US-built fighter jets instead of the Swedish SAAB […]

Liquor smugglers nabbed at the border

It’s that time of year again, when the annual holiday party season boosts demand for wine, liquor and beer. That kept customs inspectors busy at the border crossing at Svinesund over the weekend, where seizures hit a new record. The customs inspectors seized more than 6,000 liters of alcoholic beverages, with Saturday the busiest day. […]

Norway stuns Sweden in ice hockey

The Norwegian national ice hockey team beat arch rivals Sweden 5-4 through a shootout in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship in Slovakia on Saturday – a huge upset by a makeshift Norway side that marked the country’s first victory over Sweden for nearly 50 years. In a dramatic encounter, the teams drew […]

Not easy being a Swede in Norway

NEWS ANALYSIS: When Norwegian skiing star Petter Northug flaunted his prowess and tried to humiliate his Swedish arch rival at the world championships last week, it was just the latest in a long list of recent jabs against Norway’s neighbours. Swedes have had to tolerate a lot of abuse in Norway, and not just on […]

New era for Swedish relations

A new book on relations between Swedes and Norwegians describes how changing dynamics have shifted the balance of power between the two neighbouring countries, to the point where even some old jokes now need to be altered. Swedes used to joke that when a flight from Stockholm was ready to land in Oslo, the pilot […]

Sales dip at state wine monopoly

For the first time since the 1980s, sales at Norway’s state liquor and wine monopoly Vinmonopolet have declined. Some blame competition from far lower taxes and prices in Sweden, and are calling for an end to tax-free sales at, for example, Norwegian airports. Newspaper Aftenposten reported on Wednesday that Vinmonopolet’s sales normally rise around 4 […]

Royals open new national parks

Crown Crown Prince Haakon and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden jointly opened two new neighboring national parks off the coasts of both countries this week. Outer Hvaler National Park and the Koster Seas National Park cover a wide area of islands and skerries and much of them are underwater, but not everyone is happy with their creation. […]