Jimmie Åkesson on illness:"batteries are empty"
The stressed-out leader of the Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, who's been off work since October has written an open letter to supporters in which he says "just now my batteries are empty".
Åkesson's letter to the party faithful tells how he expects to be away from the forefront of politics for quite some time.
"I feel bad. Just now my batteries are empty. When you are reading this my sick leave is no longer news. I need to recharge my batteries and in order to do this I need to take a real break," he wrote.
"Until my health is restored, I am leaving Mattias Karlsson at the helm. I do this with full confidence that I will return to a party just as strong, if not stronger, than today. Friends, the election results are just the beginning. Now it is time to take responsibility and to guide our country in the right direction."
At the same time the letter was published, newspaper Dagens Nyheter writes that during his period of sick leave, Åkesson has asked for his party leader pay of almost SEK 40,000 a month as well as sick pay and a sickness benefit supplement from parliament.
Stand-in leader Mattias Karlsson has stated that Jimmy Åkesson's fatigue syndrome has been serious, and attracted the attention of the party leadership over the past four years. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won 13 percent of the vote at the general election in September making them the third biggest party in parliament. If they vote for the opposition's budget motion on December 3, then Sweden will likely head into a new election.