And after the damning criticism from the commission appointed to investigate the government’s response to the disaster, the clamour for Göran Persson’s departure has escalated.
Three out of ten Swedes believe he should resign and an increasing number of opposition politicians are demanding a vote of confidence against the government.
But according to a poll carried out by Sifo, the majority of Swedes appear to have forgiven the Prime Minister. 29% of the 1,000 people interviewed on Friday said that Persson ought to resign, while 57% said that he could remain in office.
Not even among conservative voters is there a majority calling for his resignation: only 42% of those supporting the opposition parties want the Prime Minister to quit. Among Social Democrat voters only 9% believe he should resign.
The real target for Swedes’ dissatisfaction with the way the government responded to the tsunami, which claimed over 500 Swedish lives, is Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds. 51% of those questioned said she should resign, compared to 35% who felt that she should remain in her job.
Two in three opposition voters wanted her out, compared to one in three Social Democrat voters.