Åland gained ministers when the members of the provincial government changed their titles in March, following a decision in Finland’s highest court. The head of government, however, is still called a country council, a title that has existed since 1922, the year after the introduction of self-government.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made an official visit to Åland in March for talks with the county council Viveka Eriksson.
A record drug bust with several Swedish citizens involved was revealed in May by the Åland police and Finnish criminal police. Sixty people were arrested on suspicion of various drug offenses involving cannabis and amphetamines, which were believed to have reached Åland from, among other things. Baltic but via the Stockholm area.
During the summer, divers made a unique find in a nearly two-century-old wreck at just over 50 meters near Fåglö in the southern archipelago of Åland. 168 bottles were found to contain high-quality and exclusive champagne, including the famous brand Yellow Widow – Veuve Clicquot. Some of the bottles were believed to contain the world’s oldest drinkable champagne, probably from the time around 1825. It was an amber-colored drink with a taste of ripe fruit, flowers and mushrooms, according to experts.
Some of the champagne would go to a museum and some would be sold at exclusive wine auctions, where the price was assumed to be at least SEK 1 million per bottle. In addition, some of the champagne would be used as a base for a new champagne product. Some beer bottles, also taken from the wreckage, would be used as a base for a new beer brand.