Swede Criticism Over Tsunami Delay
Sorry, this does not work for me.
me either....it also makes my page waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to wide....
Can someone edit the title of this thread, its sending my screen too far to the east
mine is going west and east Brummie....
Swede criticism over Tsunami delay
Friday, December 31, 2004 Posted: 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) -- Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson is facing growing criticism over his cabinet's slow reaction to the scope of the Asian tsunami, which may have killed over 1,000 Swedes.
Elections are due in Sweden only in September 2006 but some commentators said voters would not forget, but punish Persson's center-left Social Democrats at the polls.
Public criticism has focused mainly on the slow take-off of the rescue operation and the handling of air transport capacity to bring wounded Swedes home.
Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said the government, which was notified of the catastrophe on Sunday morning, had begun to understand only much later how many Swedes might be involved.
"We ought to have taken much more forceful action already on Sunday instead of waiting (for more information) ... we had been able to win a whole day," she said upon return on Friday from a fact-finding visit to stricken parts of Thailand.
"I have seen the worst-affected tourist resorts and I realize why we in Sweden are so hard hit," she told a news conference. "Some of the completely wiped out tourist resorts are those where many Swedes were staying."
Wealthy Nordic citizens flee cold winters at home for sunny holidays in Thailand and Sri Lanka. More than 40,000 people from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland may have been in the region hit by the December 26 tsunami.
An estimated 20,000 Swedes, more than from any other European nation, were in Thailand when the flood waters struck. The government fears that over 1,000 Swedes may have died. The official death toll is 60 with 3,500 missing.
The worst Nordic disaster in the recent past saw 852 people, among them 551 Swedes, die when passenger ferry Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea in September 1994.
Henrik Brors, political columnist at Sweden's leading daily Dagens Nyheter noted that while cabinet ministers are formally in charge of their departments, real political power is in the hands of Prime Minister Goran Persson.
"Responsibility for the delayed catastrophe reaction lies at the highest political level," Brors wrote.
"The government did not seem to realize that the tens of thousands (of affected Swedes) ... demanded that the 'care' constantly promised by politicians apply also when they've been hit by a natural disaster in a foreign country," he said.
"The government's actions, or rather lack thereof, seem completely incomprehensible," said Christina Doctare, an author and medical doctor with experience from United Nations relief work in the Balkans.
The cabinet appeared to have denied or underestimated the scope of the disaster and tried to avoid guilt by blaming others, she said in an article for the daily Svenska Dagbladet.
"If the prime minister and his cabinet think they can cling omnipotently to their seats, the risk is big that they'll find themselves washed away by the anger of the people," she said.
Svenska Dagbladet's political columnist Anders Jonsson said Sweden's center-right "bourgeois" opposition parties were biding their time in the name of national unity instead of launching an all-out attack on Persson's centre-left Social Democrats.
"It's not worth their while to take the risk of trying to score political points on what looks like the worst catastrophe to befall Swedish citizens in modern times," Jonsson wrote.
"All those not satisfied will know to direct their fury at the government," he said.
The centre-right has pulled narrowly ahead of the Social Democrats and their left-wing and Green allies in some recent opinion polls.
In Denmark, the political opposition has been more vocal in its criticism of the ruling centre-right government, whose prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the disaster could turn into "an incomprehensible tragedy ... of national proportions."
Rasmussen, his coalition way ahead in opinion polls, has been expected to call parliament elections soon.
Seven Danes are confirmed dead in the tsunami. Almost 500 are missing. "Danes must prepare for the worst ... one must assume that many hundreds of Danes may have died," Rasmussen told a news conference on Friday.
Norway has reported 21 dead and over 450 missing, Finland 14 dead and more than 250 missing and Iceland 11 missing.
Out of curiousity, what was it in my post that needed editing? When I submitted it, it appeared fine.
mine is going west and east Brummie....
hahah You must have XP, its far more advanced.