Pastor fired after drunken antics on Sicily

A Church of Sweden pastor has been sacked after having been returned from a military base on Sicily following a drunken binge.

Daniel Westin has been relieved of his duties at Örslösa parish in western Sweden following his alcohol-fuelled antics on the US military base on the Italian island.

“It is a shock for me,” he said to the local Nya Lidköpings-Tidning daily.

Westin accompanied several Swedish soldiers to a bar in the vicinity of the base while dressed in uniform. He proceeded to drink excessively and resigned his post as military pastor the next day, returning home to Sweden.

When he received a warning from his superiors in the cathedral chapter, he thought that the matter had been dealt with.

So when the decision to terminate his employment was communicated on Friday, Westin was shocked.

“I had just been given a slap on the wrists,” he said to the newspaper.

“I rang around to the members of the church council to find out what had happened and I understand that they have felt that they were obliged to remain unanimous.”

According to Gunilla Carlsson at the church council, the decision took into account additional factors other than Westin’s Sicilian episode.

Westin has contested the decision and the union will enter negotiations with church employers on December 5th.

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Spain has second highest rate of daily alcohol drinkers in EU 

More than one in ten Spaniards drink alcohol every day, making them the Europeans who drink most regularly after the Portuguese, new Eurostat data reveals. 

Spain has second highest rate of daily alcohol drinkers in EU 
Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Thirteen percent of people in Spain drink alcohol every day, a similar rate to Italy, where 12 percent enjoy a tipple on a daily basis, and only behind Portugal, where 20 percent of people have an alcoholic drink seven days a week.

That puts Spaniards above the EU average of 8.4 percent daily drinkers, data published by Eurostat in July 2021 reveals. 

This consistent alcoholic intake among Spaniards is far higher than in countries such as Sweden (1.8 percent daily drinkers), Poland (1.6 percent), Norway (1.4 percent), Estonia (1.3 percent) and Latvia (1.2 percent). 

However, the survey that looked at the frequency of alcohol consumption in people aged 15 and over shows that weekly and monthly drinking habits among Spaniards are more in line with European averages. 

A total of 22.9 percent of respondents from Spain said they drunk booze on a weekly basis, 18.3 percent every month, 12.5 percent less than once a month, and 33 percent haven’t had a drink ever or in the last year. 

Furthermore, another part of the study which looked at heavy episodic drinking found that Spaniards are the third least likely to get blind drunk, after Cypriots and Italians.

The Europeans who ingested more than 60 grammes of pure ethanol on a single occasion at least once a month in 2019 were Danes (37.8 percent), Romanians (35 percent), Luxembourgers (34.3 percent) and Germans (30.4 percent). 

The UK did not form part of the study but Ireland is included. 

Overall, Eurostat’s findings reflect how the Spanish habit of enjoying a glass of wine with a meal or a small beer (caña) outdoors with friends continues to be common daily practice, even though 13 percent does not make it prevalent. 

Spaniards’ tendency to drink in moderation also continues to prevail, even though a 2016 study by Danish pharmaceuticals company Lundbeck found that one in six people in the country still drinks too much.