Ilmar Reepalu of the Social Democrat party will resign as Malmö mayor in the summer of 2013. Photo: Hans Zillén/Sveriges Radio

Ilmar Reepalu to resign as Malmö mayor

Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu announced his resignation in the Sydsvenskan newspaper today. but said that he was neither tired of politics nor of the tough debates that he has been involved in since taking up the post in 1994.

Reepalu explained that his work burden has been heavy and that he now wants to wind down and spend time with his grandchild. He plans to resign on July 1st.

Reepalu, who was born in 1943, is planning on keeping his post as group leader in the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and will also stay on Malmö's city council and in regional committees.

"I want to have a 40-hour work week," Reepalu told the TT news agency.

Reepalu, a Social Democrat, said he was proud of the transformations that Malmö has gone through during his mayorship.

Asked what his biggest regrets are, Reepalu mentioned the continued high youth unemployment rate and the city's problems with anti-Semitism which has received international attention.

Reepalu has been criticized for failing to stem anti-Semitism and has even been accused of fomenting it.

"For me it is terribly strange to be blamed for anti-Semitism. It is among the most heinous things you can accuse another person of," said Reepalu.

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