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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 September, 2003, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Swedish media mourns Lindh
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh
Anna Lindh: tipped as a future PM

The death of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh following a knife attack in central Stockholm on Wednesday dominates Thursday's Swedish press and electronic media to the exclusion of almost anything else.

Mrs Lindh's death and related coverage are the only story to feature on the Internet edition of the country's biggest-selling daily, Aftonbladet, which carries no foreign news.

In an editorial the paper says "the sorrow is beyond words".

"Sweden now finds itself in a state of shock like that after the murder of Olof Palme in 1986. Yet again a prominent politician has fallen victim to meaningless violence.

This shows again, with brutal clarity, that our country is not immune to incidents of subversive violence
Dagens Nyheter

"The perpetrator isn't known this time either - and neither is the motive for the deed. We are gripped by a feeling of impotence."

"The hurt, anger and sorrow this September morning are unbearable."

The country's biggest-selling broadsheet, Dagens Nyheter, describes the incident as "an attack on democracy" and says it "seems inconceivable" that Mrs Lindh was in central Stockholm without a bodyguard three days before the country's referendum on introducing the euro.

Echoes of Palme

The paper says Mrs Lindh's death brings to mind the murder of Olof Palme and two "random violent incidents" involving psychologically disturbed people earlier this year in Sweden.

Nurses put down flowers following the death of Swedish politician Anna Lindh
Sweden is in shock at the attack

It points out that Mrs Lindh was in Belgrade when Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated in March.

"A shaken but composed Swedish foreign minister described her feelings about political violence in the Balkans. Now she herself has fallen victim... This shows again, with brutal clarity, that our country is not immune to incidents of subversive violence."

Svenska Dagbladet also recalls the murder of Olof Palme in its editorial.

"No, not again", the paper says.

'Lessons not learned'

"The naivete should have gone" after Palme's assassination, "but many people wanted to preserve the image of Sweden as an idyll.

The time when the security police can leave a leading government minister without surveillance, particularly during a controversial period in politics when murky feelings are stirred up, should be over
Svenska Dagbladet

"International politicians who are condemning the act must wonder if we learned anything from Palme's murder, Pim Fortuyn, and attacks on German, British, Spanish and Italian politicians - and the murders of heads of state and government in other parts of the world: the USA, India, Israel."

"At the risk of being wise after the event, it has to be stated that the time when the security police can leave a leading government minister without surveillance, particularly during a controversial period in politics when murky feelings are stirred up, should be over."

Swedish Television's Europa channel has been broadcasting only news programmes and debate about Anna Lindh's death on Thursday, while Swedish radio's most popular station has cancelled all programming in favour of news output.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Stephen Cviic
"Doctors had worked through the night to try and save her life"


UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"She represented everything that is wonderful about Sweden and Europe"



SEE ALSO:
Stockholm in shock and sorrow
11 Sep 03  |  Europe
Attack on Swedish way of life
10 Sep 03  |  Europe
Sweden's date with destiny
08 Sep 03  |  Europe
Swedish PM talks up euro vote
09 Sep 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Sweden
09 Sep 03  |  Country profiles


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