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Greens hit rough patch with gaffes, resignations

Published onsdag 20 april 2016 kl 16.29
A Green Party member hands out flyers before the 2014 national election. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT.
A Green Party member hands out flyers before the 2014 national election. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT.

Just mid-way through the week the Green Party, part of the coalition government, has seen one of its ministers resign and has suffered a series of media gaffes.

On Monday, Housing and IT Minister Mehmet Kaplan stepped down after it was revealed he attended a dinner with ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey and, in 2009, compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to Germany's treatment of Jews in the 1930s. 

That same day state-owned energy giant Vattenfall announced it would sell its German coal operations to a Czech consortium, much to the dismay of the environmentally conscientious Greens who had advocated the operation's phase out under the Swedish energy company's control.

The next day, Deputy Prime Minister and party spokeswoman Åsa Romson referred to the American terror attacks of 9/11 as "accidents" in a live interview with Swedish Television.

Speaking about Kaplan's resignation, Romson said the former minister faced difficult times "like the September 11th accidents and such" while he was head of a Muslim youth organization. Romson later clarified her remarks saying 9/11 was a terror attack.

Wednesday the party once again made headlines when one of its members declined to shake hands with a female reporter on religious grounds. 

Yasri Khan, who was nominated for a spot on the party's board, eventually withdrew his candidacy and announced he was leaving the party. Khan said that physical contact with the opposite sex is for him "very intimate."

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