• Sweden edition
 
Reinfeldt rocked by 'chlamydia letter'

Reinfeldt rocked by 'chlamydia letter'

Published: 19 Sep 2010 13:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Sep 2010 13:10 GMT+02:00

The story of Annica Holmquist's battles with the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) quickly caught the nation's attention after her daughter wrote an emotive blog post about an illness that causes body parts to grow uncontrollably. She also wrote about the dire practical consequences of her mother losing access to welfare support, with social services calling on the 55-year-old to sell her apartment.

”I'm furious and would like to say to people that this could be your mother,” Emelie Holmquist told news agency TT.

Emelie Holmquist's post on her Klamydiabrevet (Chlamydia Letter) blog spread rapidly across social networking sites like Facebook before it was first picked up by TV4, then the large circulation Aftonbladet, and later referenced by a Washington Post blogger.

Annica Holmquist suffers from acromegaly, a syndrome brought on by an excess of growth hormones. The former dental hygienist said she was forced to stop working after parts of body like her facial features, fingers and feet began growing again, often leaving her in intense pain.

Despite having several medical statements confirming that she is unable to work, the insurance agency ruled to remove her from its system and withdraw her disability benefits.

Asked whether the massive interest in the case could affect the outcome of the election, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt replied:

”I'd rather not speculate. Obviously everybody is trying to promote their own aspects at the end of the election campaign. But from what I've heard, the Social Insurance Agency is planning to look into this particular case one more time,” he told news agency TT.

The prime minster became irritated when asked to comment further on the implications of the case.

”I don't know. As you well know, we are not permitted to comment on individual cases,” said Reinfeldt, referring to Sweden's constitutional ban on ministerial interference in such cases.

Reinfeldt's government came into power four years ago pledging to address the problem of a spiralling sick leave rate among Sweden's generally healthy population. The reforms to sick benefits have resulted in a large number of people moving into work or training programmes. But the move has met with fierce criticism from the opposition who charge the centre-right Alliance with throwing sick people out of the insurance system and forcing them to seek work.

The reforms placed a limit on the time people could be on sick leave. People who have been on state sick benefits for more than 180 days are now forced to either apply for work or training, or to seek lower sick benefits from Sweden’s social insurance agency.

The popular America Blog drew parallels with the tile of Emelie Holmquist's website, Chlamydia Letter, and the predicament in which Reinfeldt found himself in the days running up to the election.

"A Chlamydia Letter in Sweden is the letter the government sends to inform you that someone you've slept with has an STD, and thus you need to be tested. What's ironic about the story going viral is that the Swedish Prime Minister, in a very real way, just got his own Chlamydia Letter only 48 hours before the most important election of his life."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:58 September 19, 2010 by The Rabbi
Hes a Fascist Reinfeldt, hes speaks and has the arrogance that only a true fascist can have. That man will do a deal with SD party.
21:36 September 19, 2010 by RobinHood
Calm down please, Mr Reinfeldt may be many good and/or bad things; but he is not a fascist.
08:11 September 20, 2010 by rugla
Common Rabbi, which system is perfect, there are always exceptions and cracks in every system, cleaning the house is not easy, it is a huge bureacracy with years of inneficiancy left there by the SD´s and that fat a...s Göran, from the previous administrations.

Givé them a chance, in one hand you have poeple who strive to succeed alliance and in the other, the ones they do at others expense red´s. it is a shame that people suffer out of mistaks in the system, but nothing is perfect!
18:19 September 20, 2010 by glamelixir
I like the way "robin hood" calls him Mr. Reinfeldt, it even makes it sounds more fascist.

We gave them a chance and they sold half the country, sent us to a miljö crisis, the upcome of a nazi party and destroying a society who had one of the best living standards in the world.

We are going from role model to trash model.
Today's headlines
Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to get out into the wilds and learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN