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SWEDEN

Irate Norwegian reports Stockholm over ‘capital of Scandinavia’ claim

A Norwegian man has reported Stockholm to the Swedish consumer ombudsman claiming that the slogan "Stockholm – the Capital of Scandinavia" is "misleading".

Irate Norwegian reports Stockholm over 'capital of Scandinavia' claim
Norway's Ola Vigen Hattestad skis past a palace guard in Stockholm, the self-styled "Capital of Scandinavia" (Photo: Jens L'Estrade/Scanpix)

"The marketing campaign aims to mislead tourists and consumers to Stockholm by giving the picture that Stockholm is the capital city for the whole of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden)," the man wrote in his report, according to Aftonbladet newspaper.

The Norwegian has claimed to have been in contact with the city of Stockholm, whereupon he was informed that the title was justified as the Stockholm region lays claim to five international airports, has 3.5 million residents, and attracts over 40 percent of Scandinavia's visitors.

The city also claimed it had the right to call itself the Capital of Scandinavia because the Nobel prizes and the Polar Music Prize are awarded there.

However, the man took issue with these claims, arguing in his complaint that Stockholm not only lacks Scandinavia's biggest airport, but it doesn't even have the region's largest population.

In addition, Stockholm is far from being centrally located within the Nordic region, the man explained, and doesn't even give out the main Nobel prize, the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

"Stockholm is, overall, not any better than the other capital cities in Scandinavia," he wrote.

Tor Sannerud, Oslo's chief of tourism, has let the world know that he is unimpressed as well.

He lashed out at the slogan in Norwegian papers recently, labelling the choice of words as arrogant and "directly misleading".

The offending slogan, which has been in use since 2005, has been making headlines recently after its use ruffled feathers at a French convention earlier this month.

Swedish representatives at the investment fair placed banners and advertising with the slogan on signs and ticket stubs, outraging Norwegians and Danes, some of whom tore the papers to pieces.

The ombudsman is yet to take a position on the case.

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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