Tsunami Hearings Continue
The Swedish parliament’s Committee on the Constitution continues its hearing into how well the Swedish government responded to the Asian tsunami disaster, which left 543 Swedes dead.
Around 20,000 Swedes were vacationing in the region at the time, and an official commission recently criticized the government and several individual ministers for reacting slowly to the crisis.
On Monday Minister for Health Ylva Johansson told the committee she regrets leaving on a vacation in the Canary Islands a few days after the disaster. While she said she didn’t think her absence made a practical difference to the relief efforts, she admitted it sent the wrong signal,
On Tuesday it was the turn of Foreign Aid Minster Carin Jämtin, the only minister on duty on the day of the disaster. She told the committee she regretted not calling Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds that day, but said she didn’t think it would have made a difference.
She was followed by Defence Minister Leni Björklund, whose ministry sent the first report to the prime minister’s office about the extent of the disaster. Prime Minister Göran Persson and Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds are to testify on Thursday.