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Stieg Larsson's partner reports 'racist' subsidy

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Stieg Larsson's partner reports 'racist' subsidy
09:36 CEST+02:00
Eva Gabrielsson, the life partner of deceased Millennium trilogy author Stieg Larsson, has called on Sweden's highest legal official to examine the legality of a press subsidy awarded to a newspaper run by the extreme-right National Democrat party.

Gabrielsson has asked the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern - JK) to examine whether the subsidy is consistent with positions held by the party and the newspaper's position which she argues are tantamount to agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrup).

"I want JK to investigate the Press Subsidies Council and its decision to give 2.3 million kronor in press subsidies to the National Democrat journal Nationell Idag ('National Today'). This is not funding from some individual, the funding is from the state and as such is very special," Gabrielsson wrote in her report.

The decision by the Press Subsidies Council (Presstödsnämnden) to award 2.3 million kronor ($321,000) to the openly racist publication has met with heated reactions in Sweden.

Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, herself formerly a delegate on the subsidies council, has said that a review is needed over guidelines prohibiting the council from taking a publication's political views into consideration.

"Even if this is about freedom of expression, that's not the same thing as using taxpayers' money to support this type of media," Adelsohn Liljeroth told public broadcaster Sveriges Radio last week.

The Local reported last week that Martin Ahlquist, editor-in-chief of Swedish news weekly Fokus, resigned his post on the council after the decision.

Gabrielsson, and her deceased common-law husband Stieg Larsson, are renowned for their work against xenophobic groups in Sweden and she has now mirrored the culture minister's call for a review of the guidelines, asking JK to consider whether it was necessary to ensure that "the constitution can be upheld as it it intended".

In her report, Eva Gabrielsson draws parallels with demands by the French Front National (FN) for the establishment of trade unions and tenant associations solely for French citizens of French origin, calls that were quashed by the French state with reference to the country's constitution.

The Chancellor of Justice is a government-appointed official who acts as an independent judicial watchdog and is the only prosecutor in Sweden who can take legal action in cases concerning freedom of speech.

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