Sweden Democrat head snubbed by Nobel

Sweden Democrat head snubbed by Nobel
Princess Madeleine and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at the Nobel dinner 2012. Photo: TT
The Nobel Foundation has declined to invite Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson to its annual banquet for the fourth consecutive year, finding no cause change its stance that the party's anti-immigrant values contradict the spirit of Alfred Nobel's will.

All other seven party leaders have been invited and have accepted the invitation for the Nobel dinner which will take place in Stockholm City Hall on December 10th.

"We can say that the board found no reason to revisit the decision taken in 2010. We are a private foundation and are free to invite whoever we wish," said Nobel Foundation spokesperson Annika Pontikis.

2013 marks the fourth year running that Åkesson has been the only party leader not to have been extended an invitation.

"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 said in 2010, by way of explanation.

Åkesson has in recent years take the snub lightly, pointing out last year that 'he was in good company' as some nine million other Swedes would not be attending. He has however also complained, claiming that the decision is politically motivated and pointing out that Michael Sohlman is a Social Democrat.

The Nobel banquet is traditionally attended by the Swedish royal family, political leaders, Nobel prize winners and a host of other dignitaries. The dinner is the culmination of a week of festivities in Stockholm which begins on December 5th with a serious of press conferences and lectures. 

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