Swedish Foreign Minister Resigns

“The foreign minister Laila Freivalds has resigned,” Swedish PM Göran Persson told a press conference Tuesday morning in Sweden.
     Freivald’s decision came after mounting pressure during the last few days when the foreign minister was criticised when it was discovered that the foreign ministry closed down a Swedish webpage showing drawings of the Prophet Muhammed.
     The minister had already been in troubled waters because of the ministry’s handling of the 2004 tsunami disaster, that cost the lives of 543 Swedes.
     Her ministry was roundly criticised for failing to realize the scope of the tragedy and for its slow reponse in offering injured Swedes medical care, transport home or other assistance.
      ”As things are at the moment, (these issues) have harmed the government, the party and the foreign ministry, and that is why I chose to resign,” Freidvalds said at the press conference.
      Her final decision came after she was criticised during a press conference in Brussels on Monday.
     “I was supposed to talk about the elections in Belarus but no one was interested in hearing about that. At the point I realized that this (situation) is impossible,” the outgoing minister said, according to Swedish web newspaper aftonbladet.se.
     A survey carried out by the same newspaper revealed that Swedes also saw her resignation as the only way out. From a total of more than 20.000 persons who participated in the survey, 89 percent agreed that she made the right decision to resign.
Vice PM Bosse Ringholm will replace Laila Freivalds as foreign minister.

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