Investigation: Lousy Swedish Tsunami Response

The Swedish Prime Minister, Mr. Göran Persson, carries the main responsibility for the lacking effort following the Tsunami disaster in Asia on December 26 last year. That is the conclusion in the investigative report, which was made public on Thursday. More than 500 Swedes died in the catastrophe – most of them in Thailand.

The severe criticism is also aimed at the Swedish Foreign Minister, Mrs. Laila Freivalds and the Department Chief of the Foreign Minister, Mr. Hans Dahlgren. Leader of the Conservative opposition party, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, has stated that he thinks that several people should resign as a consequence of the report’s critical conclusions.

While Persson is pointed out as the main responsible, Freivalds is critized for the fact the Foreign Ministry didn’t have a preparatory emergency plan. She acknowledges that the criticism against her ministry is intense, but adds that there was no preparations that could have enabled any organisation to handle a disaster of the size of last year’s Tsunami.
“I must admit that none of the plans that existed were about a catastrophe of this dimension,” she says.

No Suspensions
At a press conference Thursday, the Prime Minister Persson emphasized that he would not consider firing anyone.
“I dont believe that it would ease the suffering of the individuals. I accept the responsibility, and I will also take up the responsibility of making the necessary adjustments of what has been lacking,” he said.
“I have no plans to take this out on any staff member or minister. That would be strange,” the Prime Minister said, admitting that his government had made mistakes.

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