Dahlgren, like Freivalds, faced heavy media critcism for his actions following the tsunami. He was accused of delaying the operation to provide aid to Swedish victims of the tsunami in Thailand.
But in contrast to the situation faced by Freivalds, Dahlgren’s absence may only be temporary.
Prime minister Göran Persson said that Dahlgren’s resignation was a formality, as the cabinet secretary always vacates his post when the foreign minister quits.
“But it is not optimal that the head of department and the cabinet secretary should go at the same time. I hope therefore that Hans Dahlgren is at our disposal,” said Persson.
The prime minister also made it very clear that deputy prime minister Bosse Ringholm, appointed as Freivalds’ immediate successor, would not remain long in the post. Persson did not give any indication of who might take over, or when an announcement might be made.
Many newspapers are speculating that overseas aid minister Carim Jämtin could get the job.
Ringholm’s first duty as foreign minister will be to meet Botswana’s foreign minister. He said he had been surprised by how quickly Freivalds resignation and his own appointment as foreign minister had come about.