Thursday, April 29, 2010
Swedish Government Gives Millions in Aid to an Anti-Semitic and Racist Magazine
Nationell Idag itself reports that it is publishing news that the ”decision makers do not want you to know”. According Dagens Media, a news and media watch publication and internet site, the Nationell Idag currently has some 2,000 subscribers. This makes it eligible for governmental aid.
The governmental decision to aid the journal has created a furore, and ruffled many feathers. One of the offended is Martin Ahlquist, the chief editor of the news journal Fokus. Ahlquist subsequently resigned from his position in the Press Subsidies Council as he “did not want be part of the financing of racism”. Ahlquist also made this point: “The decision is in line with established rules stating that the council cannot take a newspaper’s content into account. If tax money is given to the spread of racism then it is a clear signal to me that the rules are wrong,”
Eva Gabrielsson, lifetime companion of the late author Stieg Larsson, also strongly opposes the government’s decision. (Larsson, working at his own personal risk, was a key founder of the Expo-foundation, a group which worked to expose Swedish anti democratic forces such as the neo-Nazis and their activities.) As a countermeasure, Gabrielsson has reported the governmental decision to the Minister of Justice and asked for the decision to be reversed.
Opinion is divided in Sweden between those who think that the government should be selective in subsidizing the media, and others who argue that such interference would be an infringement of freedom of the press. Sweden has been criticised previously by the EU commission for subsidizing news media. The EU commission contends this creates distorted economic competition. The resignation by Martin Ahlquist was therefore also aimed at showing the Press Subsidies Council that there need to be clearer guidelines for such governmental aid.
Chairman of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, Lena Posner-Körösi states, in response to the recent governmental decision that her council has for many years taken part in dialogues and debates concerning respect, democracy and all people’s right to equality. When the government recently decided to aid the journal Nationell Idag she feelt that her council had a moral obligation to react.
Nationell Idag, is a magazine created by and for National Socialists with racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia spread consistently throughout its pages. Posner-Körösi reports that the magazine is inciting against groups which already feel threatened and insecure. With additional resources provided by the Swedish government, there is a clear risk that threats against these groups will only increase.
According to the Editor-in Chief of Nationell Idag, governmental aid would secure the future of the magazine.
-“We would be able to expand. Maybe stand in the subway and hand out magazines.”
While the government’s decision is questioned by many, according to current Swedish laws, a news magazine can not be denied aid because of its political stance. Instead, anti-Semitic and racist forces are increasing their efforts, with the help of the Swedish government.