If the Prime Minister had his way, everybody would have forgotten about the Tsunami disaster and especially the Swedish government’s fumbling and delayed reactions to the disaster by now.
Unfortunately, the tabloid Aftonbladet has decided to continue the coverage of the whereabouts of Persson’s right hand Lars Danielsson whose role during the early stages of the resonse still is completely unclear.
Aftonbladet has unearthed other interesting informations about Danielsson who apparently lives in an appartment reserved for the Foreign Office and has been travelling in an official plane instead of taking a regular flight to meetings in Brussels. (For international readers: This is Sweden, m’kay? Public officials are expected to travel on economy class)
The coverage eventuelly became too much for the Prime Minister – or some people in his entourage – and Persson’s press secretary called the editor of Aftonbladet to complain about the coverage. Needless to say, that became the subject of another article in the paper, implying that the government was trying to silence the paper.
The politically interesting aspect of the coverage is that Aftonbladet today is the only national newspaper which has some affiliation with the Social Democrats. Svenska Dagbladet and especially Dagens Nyheter – to the degree that they deserve the label “national newspapers” – are fervently bourgeois as is the other national tabloid Expressen.
Loosing Aftonbladet’s support in a tight electoral campaign may turn out to be a problem for the Social Democrats.