World press reflects on Palme murder

While Sweden's fascination with the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme on February 28th 1986 is not fading with time, a wave of articles and TV and radio reports around the world this week show that the global interest is still alive too.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post web sites carried front page articles on the unsolved crime by news agency AP on Monday, and Sunday’s news programme on Norwegian television contained a five minute piece on Palme from the channel’s Stockholm correspondent. It included an interview with Palme’s son, Mårten.

Mårten Palme has also appeared in other international media, expressing the family’s view that Christer Pettersson was responsible and that they have tried to put the murder behind them.

The French news agency AFP was the first to report on the murder internationally twenty years ago. Their Swedish correspondent had worked late in the editorial office and was able to transmit a bulletin based on TT’s reports to the rest of the world.

Palme is the only western European head of government to be murdered since the World War II. The fact that the crime has still not been solved, at least not officially, continues to perplex not only Swedes but the rest of the world.

Norwegian newspapers have followed closely the theories that have emerged in recent days, while Finland’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, has several articles on the murder and its background.

La Republica, one of Italy’s largest papers, has covered the anniversary Vatican Radio will broadcast an item on the twentieth anniversary.

The main themes in the international reporting of the anniversary have been the dismay in Sweden, the police’s inability to solve the murder, the mystery around Christer Pettersson’s guilt and Olof Palme’s political legacy.