Green light for micro apartments
AF Bostäder in Lund has given the go ahead to the experiment in building micro sized apartments for students, thus pushing down the rents. The apartments for one to three people will be between 10 and 37 square meters in size (107-398 square feet). Earlier Boverket turned down an application for such small housings. AF appealed to the mark- och miljödomstolen in Växjö (the Land and Environment Court), which now says yes to the first phase of the project, which in total includes 22 apartments. If the project turns out well, AF Bostäder wants to continue the project, and must according to the court, apply again for a new waiver. Finding housing in Lund is notoriously difficult, especially for students on a tight budget.

Bergman's armchair
A demonic armchair? Perhaps not, but it used to belong to Ingmar Bergman, frequently referred to as "the demon director" in his native Sweden. Last time belongings of Bergman were auctioned off, millions of SEK were made. And now it’s time again. “As soon as it’s about Ingmar Bergman, there’s a growing interest,” says information officer Anna Hamilton at Stockholms Auktionsverk, the world’s oldest auction house. If you’re interested in reclining in Bergman’s well-worn armchair (some of his old photos, a whiskey cart, a set of drawers, and art glass from Rejmyre are also being auctioned off), keep your eyes and wallets open for next Wednesday. Ingmar Bergman, who was born in 1918, passed away in 2007.

Fewer people buy liquor
Systembolaget's sales of liquor went down 0.7% during the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period last year. Sales of beer increased 2.8% and sales of wine increased 1.8%. In total, Systembolaget’s sales increased 1.1% during the first quarter of the year, converted into liters of pure alcohol. Meanwhile sales of non-alcoholic beverages increased 35.3% and ecological beverages 6.1%, mostly because Systembolaget has expanded their range in these two categories the past two years.

Karin Enstroem, new Defense Minister
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has announced that Karin Enstroem will become the new Defense Minister and that she will take on her new post immediately. Enström said she was delighted and honored. "Sweden has a good defense system with good equipments," she said, adding that a primary task of the Defense Minister is to keep military finances in order. Karin Enström was born in 1966, and has background as a captain in Amphibious Corps. She is now the chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she served in the parliamentary defense committee.

No to request to discuss refugee children
There will be no debate in parliament on refugee children entering Sweden without adults. Speaker Per Westerberg turned down the request by Sverigedemokraterna (the Sweden Democrats). The other political parties have changed strategy and will no longer discuss it with SD, according to SD’s team leader Björn Söder. “Children and youths entering Sweden without adults and seeking asylum is a recent and much debated issue,” writes Söder in a letter to speaker Westerberg, where he asked that the issue be discussed “as soon as possible.” But Westerberg turned down the request. “The speaker has, after consultations with the team leaders, made the decision not to have a specific debate about unaccompanied children seeking asylum. This according to the migration debate that is taking place at the House right now,” writes Westerberg’s press secretary Karin Flygare. SD’s letter was discussed at an earlier meeting between the party group leaders. Söder is disappointed with the news, saying, “There ought to be an interest in debating this in parliament, but nobody dares to do so. The unaccompanied children become enormous consequences for the municipalities, and it is urgent that this issue be discussed separately, not as a part in the migration debate.” SD has asked parliament to get debates going four times already this year. The requirements to discuss unemployment insurance and the competition on the banking market have already been turned down, and Söder expected the same answer to this latest request. “I feel the other parties have switched tactics in how they respond to the Sweden Democrats,” he says. “They no longer want a debate with us, and I think that’s very strange.” He notes however, that last year the party was met with sympathy for their request for a parliamentary debate on violent extremism, following the terrorist attack in Stockholm.

Wise bird
The front door was left open, so a parrot named Blue took the plunge. He was gone for an entire day in freezing weather. The family to which Blue belongs went out looking for him, when all of a sudden he came flying, screaming: “Pappa! Pappa!” Blue is a blue-fronted Amazon parrot and has lived with the Svärd Grönvik family in Forsbacka outside Gävle since September 2011. A mere month ago, mom Karin was out when Lucas, her 8-year-old son, came running with Blue behind him. “He flew two rounds above the house, then he took off, really high,” Karin told daily Expressen. The family worried and thought for sure their pet had disappeared for good. Especially worrisome was the freezing cold weather. The next day they went looking for the bird. They called his name, and were suddenly answered. Blue came flying, screaming his favorite word. “Blue was so happy when he saw us. He whistled and tried to imitate us. Lucas went to get a stick and finally Blue settled down on it.” The bird showed no signs of feeling unwell in spite of having been out for 24 hours in the freezing cold. “It was 24 hours of horror for us in the family. But now all is good. We are so happy!”