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Swedish Government Faces Criticism for Tsunami Response


The Swedish government continues to face criticism for a slow response to Asia's tsunami disaster.

Local media have been very critical of the government of Prime Minister Goran Persson, noting that his Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds did not go to her office for more than a day after the tsunami was first reported. Newspapers say hundreds of angry citizens have written letters and e-mails condemning the government's response to the tragedy.

Sweden has been the hardest-hit Western nation, with more than 3,500 of its citizens unaccounted for and at least 59 known dead.

The prime minister has ordered an investigation, but has said that Ms. Freivalds is safe in her job. Mr. Persson does not face re-election until September 2006.

Meanwhile, flags flew at half-staff Sunday as Sweden, Finland and Norway marked an official day of mourning.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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