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King slams Greece over referendum plans

The Local/dl · 4 Nov 2011, 11:31

Published: 04 Nov 2011 10:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2011 11:31 GMT+01:00

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“There's no one who really understands the move,” the King told the Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri (DI).

The interview was conducted after Papandreou first announced he would put the eurozone settlement to write down Greece's debt to a national referendum, a move which raised concern in the markets and among European leaders.

“I think we're all concerned, of course. That's the big question and for the most part people are trying to understand what's going on – and this last round – yeah, there are very few who understand,” the King told the newspaper.

The King also expressed his concerns about the speed with which the Greeks would be able to organize a referendum, questioning whether or not it was fair of Papandreou to keep the entire global economy in a state of uncertainty.

“How long does it take to arrange a referendum? Some say it will be two months. Two months! Should the economies of the world – and especially in Europe – be made to wait? That's not possible,” he said.

Following the interview, which was conducted on the margins of the King's annual elk hunting trip in Halle-Hunneberg in western Sweden, Papandreou backed down on his proposed referendum and is set to face a confidence vote in parliament on Friday.

While King Carl XVI Gustaf is Sweden's head of state, his political functions are limited serving as the chair of the Committee for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesnämnden), a body which is used to inform the King and opposition political leaders about government affairs.

According to Stockholm University political scientist Olof Ruin, the King's comments on the situation in Greece were out of line as he shouldn't make political statements.

Story continues below…

"He shouldn't speak out about the referendum as a means, then he's gotten too far into the details," Ruin told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

"He's gone into a discussion about whether it's good or bad to have a referendum and that's going over the line."

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:10 November 4, 2011 by RobinHood
Like good children of long ago, kings should be seen but not heard.

Being the king in a constitutional monarchy brings great priviledges, but also one or two sacrifices. He is entitled to his own political opinions, but he may not express them publicly. To do so might be interpreted as an influence on the government of the country, and that is a job only for democratically elected politicians. Even worse is to be seen as influencing someone else's country; like Greece for example.

Kings are above that sort of thing. Get back to shooting royal elks, opening schools and dining with foreign ambassadors. Leave the dirty politics for the dirty politicians.
11:21 November 4, 2011 by Åskar
Hear! Hear!
11:24 November 4, 2011 by planethero
people deciding their future with democracy and voting, disgusting! :)
11:30 November 4, 2011 by lub
What a wise king! :)
11:36 November 4, 2011 by zircon
In other words: Mr Papandreou has made a courageous move... But ended up with empty hands in the EU till? Naughty, naughty... Actually it should have been ending up with empty hands in one's own bosom. The itch is on the heel of the PM of Greece and he's scratching the nation's wound till it bleeds. But could it perhaps also be that the whole thing about Greece is a metaphor? Like in the ultimate European wisdom that never was?
11:45 November 4, 2011 by philster61
You tell 'em Gus...Thats the spirit
11:46 November 4, 2011 by salalah
He is worried about his Euros...
12:12 November 4, 2011 by Snoopy!
how does anyone take comments seriously from a person with a head like that ! : )
12:30 November 4, 2011 by John.Smith
@Snoopy.... I had to scroll up and double check what you meant... Yep, I agree. Looks like turtle wearing a suit... :)
12:33 November 4, 2011 by salalah
Constipated Turtle
13:06 November 4, 2011 by axiom
Letting the people choose, democratically: oh what treason they seek to commit. What's next, they will be demanding referendums on the very EU itself ... oh wait ....
13:34 November 4, 2011 by ?????
"Should the economies of the world be made to wait?"...for a country to democratically decide its future? No no no. What a horror! Well, the king (and any king) never asked anyone to be what he is...
14:35 November 4, 2011 by millionmileman
Good for the King. Since this story broke the referendum will not be taken. Democracy can also be dangerous for the reason of majority rule which can be mob rule. For a hypothetical instance, let us suppose the majority of Greece vote not to accept austerity thereby destroying any hope of being saved. If that happened what gives them the right to bring down the world's economies with their selfishness.

I am sick and tired out the takers taking more and more from the producers.

People better start reading Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand before we all go over the cliff with these Lemmings.
15:25 November 4, 2011 by Svensksmith
Oooo, the King of Sweden! I be the Greek prime minister is just shaking in his boots.
15:37 November 4, 2011 by Online Personality
I think Swedis tax payers should vote on financing for the "royals." Every tax payer can freely choose how much (0-infinite) he / she wants to give to this family... The whole royalty concept is extremely voyeuristic and creepy.
15:44 November 4, 2011 by Flan
The bail out money is not to benefit the Greek people but to pay off the american banks whom are owed monies . This means that the Greek people will have to endure ten years of austerity to pay banks who have already been bailed out themselves with public money. I am sure that anyone of us would feel betrayed if our goverments agreed to measures that would lower our standard of living for the next 10 years without consultating us first.
18:00 November 4, 2011 by maxbrando
Of course a King does not understand Democracy. Duuuuh! And neither do the oligarchs in the Euro zone. They are all red-letter socialists,
18:01 November 4, 2011 by zoroastrina
An inflated king Christ figure Napoleonic magalomaniac a peddlers of royal nonsense.
18:02 November 4, 2011 by maxbrando
Of course a King does not understand Democracy. Duuuuh! And neither do the oligarchs in the Euro zone. They are all red-letter socialists,
18:29 November 4, 2011 by james_g
@ Flan #16 - absolutely right! Except it's not just American banks. Not even sure it's necessarily mainly American banks...

@ millionmileman #13 - are you by any chance a banker...?

@ axiom #11 - quite...!
19:12 November 4, 2011 by hackie
@Snoopy! @John.Smith @salalah (#8, #9, #10)

Do you guys have any respect for a king at all? If you made such statements in the old British empire, I am very sure your heads would have been cut-off by now. Does westernization make you lose your brains? Shame on all of you for talking to a king like that.
19:22 November 4, 2011 by james_g
@ hackie #21 - a 'king' is just one more human (usually) being, the descendant (usually - i.e providing there hasn't been any hanky-panky between the sheets) of either someone who was a successful robber baron/bandit chief/thug (perhaps for the present day read banker or similar...) or, sometimes, someone who was elected to the top job because he (or, rarely, she) (and NOT his/her children and children's children and so ad infinitum) was recognised as being the best man (or, rarely, woman) for the job. That being said, the guy can't help what he looks like and it's a bit off colour to make personal remarks on the basis of his appearance. I've seen lots of people who look MUCH worse (or funnier) than that :)
19:23 November 4, 2011 by Snoopy!
hackie I sincerely hope your taking the pisss ! I couldn't give to fecks for this so called king or any other so called royal parasites ,regardless of where they are .

Jesus there are some sycophants for these cretins
19:42 November 4, 2011 by sgt_doom
Yet another moronic royal dumps on the concept of democracy!

What a surprise! Uff da!

01:00 November 5, 2011 by zircon
"Your Majesty, what big hands you have! My, and what big teeth..." Story of Little Red riding Hood and the big bad wolf. Could that be the story of Greece and the EU today/ tonight? Or is just Sweden doing both characters?
04:54 November 5, 2011 by swenrika
@james_g #22

BRILLIANT explanation.. had me rolling .. made my day tx :)
09:38 November 6, 2011 by rise
@ salalah "He is worried about his Euros..."

In that case he hasn't got much to worry about considering Sweden is using SEK and not the EURO. :P
22:48 November 6, 2011 by McChatter
@1 - 27 You are all right.

Unfortunately we have here a royal wally, who has suddenly decided to dive into politics by supporting - among others - the Greeks. Some family kin way back then?
02:41 November 13, 2011 by ferdio
It seem like the man-king wants Sweds to swipe his Kronor head with headless Euro..

But what is his point by the way? slam dunking poor Greece? C'ommon it's like everyone is having opinion about Greece now... Show some respect this is the home town of Europe's civilisation Or is Europe really civilised?), of something like that
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