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Republicans Run Anti-Monarchy Festival

Published lördag 19 juni 2010 kl 12.56
Republican demonstration on the King's birthday four years ago

Republicans are also gathering in central Stockholm today, as the centrepiece of the Love Republic Festival, organized by the Swedish Republican Association, will be a conference of European anti-monarchy associations from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK.

Mona Abou- Jeib Broshammar, general secretary of the Swedish Republican Association says the intention is to create an alliance of republic movements. And she says the meeting is being held during the royal wedding to highlight that tax payers money is being spent on the wedding.

"We think that it's wrong that the Swedish people should have to foot the bill for the wedding," she told Radio Sweden.

"We hope to learn from other European associations. For example, in Sweden people say that the king has a very high PR value - we think it would be interesting to hear what colleagues from abroad think about that."

The Swedish Republican Association wants to abolish the monarchy on the grounds that it is undemocratic.

Even though the group has doubled its membership to 6,000 since the royal wedding was announced last year, it remains to be seen whether the enormous media coverage in the run up to the royal wedding will serve to boost their support, which has grown rapidly in recent months.

Broshammar claims that the Swedish royal family does not play such as strong role in promoting Sweden overseas as many believe.

"The royalists main argument is that we benefit from the monarchy. But by cooperating now with other groups abroad I think we will succeed in blowing those false assertions out of the water," she said.

One of those false assumptions is that the king is Sweden's face abroad.

Broshammar points to a German report which shows that Ikea, Stockholm, Elks and Astrid Lindgren are the most well known Swedish icons for German and that the king does not get a mention.

But is the association against the royal wedding this weekend?

"It's very nice with a wedding - we all like that. Two people who have fallen in love and are going to spend their lives together - it's very beautiful," she said.

"But we have all also become very tired of this one sided focus on the wedding. You can see it just co-incidental or a good strategy. I think that it's a mix of both."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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