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REMEMBERING OLOF PALME

SOCIAL

Olof Palme paid homage in Stockholm

Prime Minister Olof Palme who was murdered 25 years ago on the 28th February was paid homage today at a seminar in Stockholm. Former ministers, party colleagues and family members all paid tribute at the ABF-huset in Stockholm.

Olof Palme paid homage in Stockholm

“Olof Palme’s thoughts and actions have influence upon many people today” Pierre Schori, former deputy foreign minister told guests at the seminar.

Monday 28th February is the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Olof Palme, a case which is still officially open with Swedish police.

Saturday’s seminar was organized by the Olof Palme International Centre. Former ministers, party colleagues and family members rallied in the ABF-house – which has also renamed one of its meeting rooms to The Palme Room.

Ingvar Carlsson, who knew Palme for 30 years and became his successor as prime minister, spoke of his tremendous political nerve, presence and ability to communicate.

“I honestly admired Olof Palme’s ability to inspire” Carlsson told those present.

Carlsson emphasized Palme’s breadth. “He was an ideologue and practitioner, brilliant in both the spoken and written word on both the national and international stage.”

“He had the ability to face a problem in small town Sweden one week and stand on the UN’s podium the next” Carlsson continued.

Lena Hjelm-Wallen was elected to parliament in 1968 and was minister for education in Palme’s government, and later foreign minister.

“Olof Palme opened the eyes of many of us to the world, but we must also remember his extremely important impact on domestic politics” she told the attendees at ABF-huset

Olof Palme was murdered by an unknown assassin as he made his was home from the cinema with his wife on the evening of the 28th February 1986. His murder, which remains unsolved, is often seen as a watershed in Swedish society.

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POLITICS

Koran burnings by Danish far-Right extremist no longer causing riots, Swedish police say

Swedish police said there have been no disturbances associated with the Koran burning by Danish far-Right extremist Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs ("Hard Line") this week around Stockholm, unlike the riots seen over Easter.

Koran burnings by Danish far-Right extremist no longer causing riots, Swedish police say

Paludan and his party have been holding demonstrations this week involving burning the Koran, in what Paludan describes as an “election tour” ahead of standing in Sweden’s parliamentary election in September.

However Swedish newswire TT has reported that few people have seemed to care about the shock tactics used and police have confirmed that no major disturbances have occurred as a result of the demonstrations.

This is in stark contrast to the demonstrations over Easter, which resulted in riots involving vandalism and violence aimed primarily at police. A total of 26 police officers were injured and at least 40 people were arrested.

“The police did not anticipate the extent of the protests and the enormous violence that the Easter riots brought with them. I don’t know if we have seen anything similar in Sweden in modern times,” Sten Widmalm, political scientist at Uppsala University, told newswire TT.

Widmalm says there are now fewer people turning up at Paludan’s demonstrations because of the number of people charged over the Easter riots. He also noted the increased police presence and adapted resources by the police, which has stopped anyone getting close to using violence.

Everyone that TT newswire spoke to a demonstration in Fittja torg, said they knew Paludan’s aim was to provoke people.

“I am a Muslim myself and I don’t care. For a true Muslim, all religions are equal. His message is to create conflict and irritation. You shouldn’t give him that,” Himmet Kaya told TT. 

According to Widmalm, there is nothing to indicate that Paludan will be successful at the Swedish election.

“On the other hand, I think that Stram Kurs has influenced Swedish politics very much in such a way that it has exposed large gaps in society. I think awareness of these has increased, due to the Easter riots – although it’s nothing to thank Paludan for.”

In Sweden, you must be a Swedish citizen in order to be elected to parliament. Paludan’s father is Swedish, and he applied for and was granted Swedish citizenship in 2020.

In order to enter the Swedish parliament, Paludan must win at least four percent of the vote in the upcoming election.

In 2019, Paludan stood in Danish parliamentary elections, achieving only 1.8 percent of the vote. Under Denmark’s proportional representation system, parties must achieve at least two percent of the vote in order to enter the Danish parliament.

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