Royal wedding didn’t give royal boost. May not be called Your Majesty. Yemeni blogger seeks Swedish asylum.
Royal wedding didn’t give royal boost
It’s been a year already since the wedding between Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling – enough time to analyze the result of the affair in financial terms. The wedding was not only going to give Sweden a new prince; it was also going to mean increased tourism and sales of wedding-related paraphernalia. All in all, business was estimated to bring in 2.5 billion SEK ($400 million). That goal was not reached, for although expectations were high, the increase in retail trade was only 14% (far from the 30% plus that had been expected). Department store Åhléns did best when it comes to sales figures. Says Åhléns Information Officer Cathrine Wigzell: “It met our expectations. What sold the most was a napkin, a kitchen towel and a gift box.” Not even tourism increased that much thanks to the wedding. The Swedish Trade Federation Swedish Trade estimated that the wedding would attract 12,000 tourists, which would give Swedish businesses an additional 100 million SEK ($15.5 million). But in terms of hotel bookings, they did not match what was anticipated. The number of over night stays from foreign tourists at hotels and hostels in Stockholm County were in June 2011 343,373, only 4,100 more than during the same month in 2009.
May not be called Your Majesty
A 44-year old Swedish man felt he needed a bit more glamour in life, and decided he wanted to add “Majesty” to his name. Not surprisingly his wish wasn’t granted by Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency). “Titles that are used in society are generally considered problematic as they may cause misunderstandings, and are therefore unsuitable as names,” the agency wrote.
Yemeni blogger seeks Swedish asylum
The Yemeni blogger Afrah Nasser has applied for political asylum in Sweden, after having received death threats for her criticism of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The 26-year-old arrived in Sweden in May for a leadership seminar and decided to stay because of the growing violence in Yemen and after having received threats. "It's about life or death," she told Reuters in an interview in the capital of Sweden, traditionally one of the most open countries in Europe for asylum seekers and refugees. "I got messages from people that I don't know on Facebook ... that I should stop." Nasser, a journalist, has nearly 2,000 followers on Twitter. She said her family members, still in Yemen, have urged her to slow down and warned her not to draw attention to herself. But she said she will continue blogging from Sweden with the hope of raising awareness of the struggles of people in Yemen.