by Patrik Ehn
On the eleventh of September 1970, Salvador Allende and democracy in Chile was crushed by Pinochet and his generals backed by US government agencies; two years ago the World Trade Center and Pentagon, symbols of US economic and military imperialism, were attacked….
On the same date this year, the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh died after being stabbed with a knife while shopping in central Stockholm. Her ideological mentor, the former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, was shot to death on an open street only seventeen years before. Every Swede over thirty years old remembers it as was it yesterday. Both Palme and Lindh became victims of Swedish open democracy, where politicians and even ministers are used to meeting citizens in everyday life.
Before the Swedish euro referendum Anna Lindh and her Social Democratic Party were propagandising for full Swedish membership in the EMU — that is, to give up the national currency. On the same side as the Social Democrats fought the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats. These four parties together occupy 280 of the 349 seats in the Swedish parliament. In addition to this, on the “yes” side were industrial interests, the leading unions and all the dominant newspapers.
The referendum was held as planned Sunday the 14th, three days after the death of the foreign minister. 83% of the Swedes went to the ballot boxes; 3.3 million citizens voted no and 2.5 milion voted yes.
The no-to-the-euro side was represented by four small parties — the Centre Party, the Green Party, the (reform communist) Left Party and the nationalist (not racist) Swedish Democrats. These parties represent a huge group of people who more and more are neglected by Swedish society; a group comprised of countryside people, young women, people working for a low wage in the public sector, and ordinary Swedes who are fed up with foreign rule.
The result of the referendum was a victory for the Swedish people and a reaction against a foreign-elite project. The Swedish population affirmed that it wants to keep its national sovereignty in the currency area, and take back power from the eurocrats in Brussels on others. So despite the loss of our foreign minister, the Swedish people and Swedish democracy showed its strength. We know that without the people democracy is nothing.
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