After the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, official voices here have said the public should not be afraid to visit similar events in Sweden. Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman said Swedes should not let threats or hatred change their way of life.
And Säpo, the security and intelligence unit of the Swedish police, says what happened in Berlin hasn’t affected the assessed threat level here.
How has that message been taken? Our reporter Mona Ismail Jama visited the popular Christmas market in Stockholm’s Old Town, and talked to two students here, Stephanie from Germany, the site of the Berlin attack, and Celine from France, where there was a similar attack in July.
“It’s terrible what happened in Berlin,” Stephanie says, “but I think it can happen any place, any time, anywhere. I’m not afraid, I think Sweden is quite safe.”
“We didn’t even think about it until you asked us,” she says. “We had the same kind of attack in Nice in the summer, but we don’t feel really feel in danger here. I know it can happen, and in France we are used to it, unfortunately.”
Their remarks were echoed by Swedish visitors to the market.
“I didn’t think about that before I came,” a visitor called Pelle told us.
But Tina Braimok expressed some concern:
“You think about it when you’re around large groups of people, “she says, “and keep a look-out”.
Suzanne, who sells ceramics at the market, is also aware of the threat:
“Of course you think about it, that it can happen in Sweden” she says. “You don’t know where they’ll strike next. But we have to keep doing things in society" she goes on.
"We can’t lock ourselves in, or else they’ve won.”