“It comes across very clearly that no consideration should be made to nationality affiliation. SD’s values stand in direct contravention of this,” said Michael Sohlman, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, to the Aftonbladet daily.
The decision to exclude Åkesson from the guest list for the Nobel Banquet on December 10th was taken by a united Nobel Foundation board.
“We are a private foundation and decide ourselves who we want to come to the banquet,” Sohlman said, explaining that the Sweden Democrats’ policy programme indicates a view of humanity not compatible with that expressed by Alfred Nobel.
Jimmie Åkesson expressed surprise and disappointment at missing out on the festivities.
“It is regrettable, in recent years all the party leaders have been invited,” he told the newspaper.
Åkesson described the decision as “controversial” and considered it strange for the committee to cite Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament.
“I am surprised that they choose to take this stand and take this decision to single me out and not take a general position that they don’t invite the party leaders,” Åkesson told Sveriges Radio’s P4 news programme on Wednesday.
“This seems to be a political decision. Michael Sohlman is after all a Social Democrat politician,” he said.
The Nobel banquet is traditionally attended by the Swedish royal family, political leaders, Nobel prize winners and a host of other dignitaries. Further politicians on the list for this year’s festivities include the foreign minister, finance minister, education minister and culture minister.