It’s a deal, the Saab story finally got a happy new beginning. Confirmed by GM and Spyker the Dutch sportscar maker bought Saab, expecting to work magic with the money-losing brand. Saab, the 60-year-old Swedish carmaker - which has a devoted following among auto enthusiasts taken with its distinctive style - has failed to make money for much of the past two decades, with GM unable to find a global audience for the cars. "It's probably one of the biggest brand mismanagement stories in the history of the automotive industry. Saab could have been the Swedish Audi if it had been taken on in the right way 20 years ago," said Tim Urquhart, an analyst at IHS Global Insight. "It's been completely mismanaged, underinvested in by people who don't understand what the brand means, and what it has the potential to mean," he added. The transaction between Spyker and GM is expected to close in mid-February. What a difference a month makes... Kudos to everyone at SAAB for perseverance and God speed to the new Saab Spyker entity!

Fashion debate fuels political furor.
The leader of a Swedish political party stirred up debate Jan. 23 after being photographed with an expensive designer handbag, local media report. Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin and leaders of other political parties were featured in a group photograph. The snapshot showed Sahlin with an $828 Louis Vuitton handbag, which has drawn both criticism and support from politicians and commentators. "A Social Democrat party leader must always have social equality at the fore," Göran Greider wrote in a letter to the newspaper Aftonbladet. "Consumerism comes from the rich." Others came to her defense. "I don't think that leading politicians need to start giving an account for what clothes they have," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told Aftonbladet. Reinfeldt owns a luxury briefcase worth about the same as Sahlin's bag, a gift from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the newspaper said. "I haven't asked any question's about Mona Sahlin's bag and I don't need to answer any when it comes to my own things," he said.

Swedes' drinking habits.
Last year was a record year for the breweries in Sweden. Swedes drank more than ever of soda, beer and water. And during the Christmas month, there was an increase of almost 15% in the sales of bottled water. These numbers come from Sveriges Bryggerier (Sweden’s Breweries) and they also show that there was a 3% increase in sales of soda last year.

Guldbagge winners.
The Guldbagge Award is the official Swedish film award given out annually since 1964 by the Swedish Film Institute. The winners of the 2009 Guldbagge Awards included: Best Picture: “Män som hatar kvinnor” (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Best Director: Lisa Siwe (for her film “I taket lyser stjärnorna”/Glowing Stars), Best Actress is a Leading Role: Noomi Rapace (for her role as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), Best Actor in a Leading Role: Claes Ljungmark (for his role as Sven-Erik in “Det enda rationella”/A Rational Solution), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anki Lidén (for her role as grandma Ingrid in “I taket lyser stjärnorna”, Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Kjell Bergqvist (for his role as Jonny in “Bröllopsfotografen”/The Wedding Photographer), Best Foreign Film: “The White Ribbon”/”Das Weisse Band”. Guldbagge is the Swedish name for a beetle also known as rose chafer. The name could also be interpreted as a play on the Swedish word “skalbagge”, which means beetle. The “skal” part has in the name Guldbagge been changed into guld (gold), which means the word is actually “Golden Beetle” or “Golden Scarab”.

Stieg Larsson’s partner: “I didn’t just read the proofs”
Look now who’s talking! In Danish newspaper Politiken, Stieg Larsson’s long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson now reveals that she did more than “read the proofs” of the Millennium-trilogy. “I did not just read the proofs,” Gabrielsson says to Politiken in a correspondence. “I was actively suggesting changes in 2002, 2003, and 2004 in the Millennium texts, but also in the content of the books. During our 32 years together we had become in accord with each other about language, ways and values. It’s difficult for me to see what’s exclusively Stieg’s and exclusively mine in the Millennium-language, and content and so on. It’s not about who wrote it or who edited it.” When Politiken then asks Gabrielsson if that means the two of them wrote the books together, she says: “I cannot discuss that in public.”