French ‘non' puts Swedish government on the spotFrench ‘non' puts Persson’s government on the spot
Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson finds himself cornered after the French rejection of the European Union's constitutional treaty. Persson said the results would not influence his plans to let the parliament vote on the treaty in December. 'We'll decide for ourselves,' he said. The Left Party has threatened to withdraw its support for Persson's Social Democratic minority government, if the parliament ratifies the treaty without sending it to a national referendum. Persson depends on its support to push government bills through in parliament. The Left Party, formerly a Communist party, is giving the government a chance to change its mind until after the summer vacation, before withdrawing its support. Up till now, Sweden's right-wing opposition has agreed with the government that the parliament should decide on the constitution in the fall.
Swedish Muslims Generally for EU Constitution
The Muslim minority in Sweden is generally in favor of the embattled European Union Constitution. “This constitution is in the interest of the Muslim minority in Sweden, which is estimated at 500,000, as it safeguards the rights of minorities and freedom of religion,” Sheikh Hassan Moussa, chairman of the Swedish Council for Imams, told IslamOnline.net. Moussa said the treaty eschews all sorts of racist and religious discrimination, given that it dropped any reference to Christianity as the continent's religion. Al-Akhdar Kirkib, the chairman of the Swedish anti-Islamophobia society, said the constitution would shield Muslim minorities across Europe against racism.