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Laila Freivalds resigned today. She just got back from Brussels. Yesterday she met journalists in the Belgian and EU capital and they didn't want to talk about anything but the current crisis. 'It was then I realised it was impossible to continue', she said at Rosenbad today.
'It was her own decision', said the Swedish PM Persson who more or less ordered Freivalds to quit. Freivalds won't hurt: Persson will keep her under his arm until the public forget her, then bring her back again. That's the way it always works.
The latest crisis was about a skinhead website that encouraged visitors to send in their own Mohammed cartoons. The site was closed down and the inference was Persson and his government were behind the action. Freivalds - who was foreign minister and not a minister of the interior - was nevertheless asked if she knew anything about the incident. She said she knew nothing.
It was discovered later she knew it all.
Everyone knows a cabinet member under Persson can't sneeze without prior approval. Make a statement contravening Persson's opinion and you're in trouble. You can't even mutter something at an informal meeting. Persson's cabinet has one member: Persson himself. With a few dozen mouthpieces.
Persson tried to save Laila by creating a scapegoat out of a national hero - a really stupid move. He tried to blame the whole affair one one Stefan Amér. Maybe Persson is finally losing it - or so full of himself, so confident in his absolute power, that he doesn't think he has to be clever anymore.
But Stefan Amér turned around and filed a complaint with the justice chancellor against the government, and that's when the affair blew sky-high. Amér was Laila's political adviser; he accompanied her to the tsunami area - but unlike her stayed around, actually trying to help, operated on fourteen Swedish patients (he's also a licensed MD) and saved the life of a little Norwegian girl.
When he heard Anna Lindh had been attacked, he rushed to the location and rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital.
He's a national hero. Bad move, Napoleon.
Laila Freivalds was at the theatre in Stockholm when the tsunami hit. Her cellphone rang in the theatre. She heard the news briefly and then told the caller that she'd waited several weeks for the chance to go to the theatre and the tsunami would have to wait.
Later when every other country were already sending aid to the area, Freivalds made a totally unnecessary PR trip so she could be photographed with the victims - all the while Swedish aid to the area waited. Somehow people never forgave her for that, and when they recently had a memorial service she was told politely she should not show up.
PM Ingvar Carlsson brought Laila into his government as minister of justice in 1988. When Carlsson lost the election Laila went to work for a legal firm and returned with the election victory of her party in 1994 - the same year Persson and Steen started to weld their plans for financial success.
Anna Lindh was Sweden's foreign minister when she was brutally murdered outside the Nordiska Kompaniet department store on Hamngatan in downtown Stockholm. Lindh had previously been head of the party's youth movement. Laila took over her post.
Bo Ringholm replaces Laila temporarily. Persson says he will look for a more permanent replacement. 90% of Swedes say it was right for Laila to leave.
Other ministers have had to leave over the years, most notably Mona Sahlin who was once groomed for the PM post. Sahlin was found running up Toblerone purchases on the government account.
For a $2 bar of Swiss chocolate Sweden got the current mafia instead.