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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 May, 2005, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Swedish PM blasts media over sex
Page threes in British newspapers
Persson is worried that Sweden is following the UK's lead
Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson has taken a swipe at the Swedish media, accusing it of using images of scantily-clad women to boost sales.

He said the government was examining ways of "sanitising" the media, which could include new legislation.

Sweden has recently been declared the country with the world's smallest economic divide between the genders.

But Mr Persson said that was not a good reason to "lean back and consider our work finished".

"Wherever you go in Sweden today, you see pictures of young women nearly undressed," he said in his address to a Social Democrat women's congress.

"We must distance ourselves from this degrading... almost pornographic offering which we see in certain media."

British 'model'

Mr Persson also warned that Swedish tabloids appeared to be going "in the same direction as those in Britain" - a clear reference to the Sun's trademark "page three", featuring a picture of a bare-breasted woman.

He said that the government was planning a review for later this year and might resort to new regulations - a prospect that Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet has already decried as "censorship".

"Limits on the freedom of speech and what should be printed in the media are not compatible with our democratic values," the paper's editor-in-chief wrote on the newspaper's website.

A survey published at the World Economic Forum in Jordan earlier this week found that Sweden had the smallest economic gender gap in the world - but Mr Persson was adamant that more needed to be done.

"Our country is still not equal," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Page Three girls - the naked truth
14 Sep 04 |  Magazine


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