Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix.

Far right-wing newspaper loses state subsidy

The Swedish Press Subsidies Council has canceled a grant for right-wing newspaper Nationell Idag (National Today) after readers claimed it is impossible to cancel subscriptions, broadsheet Svenska Dagbladet reports.

The Press Subsidies Council is a government agency that distributes the state’s subsidy to the daily press and aims to “preserve the diversity of the newspaper market”.

Nationell Idag, which has ties to the extreme right-wing National Democrat Party, was granted an annual subsidy of 1.7 million SEK in 2010.

At the time, Martin Ahlquist, editor-in-chief of current affairs magazine Fokus, resigned from the Press Subsidies Council in protest.

“If taxpayers’ money goes to spreading racism, then for me that is a clear sign that the rules are wrong,” Ahlquist said.

Newspaper must be able to demonstrate subscription figures in order to claim the press subsidy.

Svenska Dagbladet spoke to Nationell Idag subscribers who said the newspaper did not respond to repeated requests to cancel subscriptions.

On a Facebook group page for people who are trying to cancel their Nationell Idag subscriptions, one person wrote: “Once you are in the register, you never get out”.

Svenska Dagbladet reports that it could not reach Nationell Idag for comment but in correspondence with the Press Subsidies Council, Nationell Idag stated that it is possible to cancel subscriptions, but that delays could occur.

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