STOCKHOLM – Academics criticise government in open letter

On Tuesday (14 April) twenty-two Swedish researchers, professors and doctors published an open letter criticising the strategy followed by the government and authorities.

Printed in the country’s biggest broadsheet, Dagens Nyheter, the group claimed that the policies dealing with the coronavirus have been too lenient and demanded tougher measures including the closing down of schools and restaurants.

The signatories quote the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s interview in the same newspaper a few days earlier, where he said: “You can not ask people not to go out if the restaurants are allowed to stay open.”

The group wrote: “All those returning from the Alps were told to carry on with their normal life, even if it was known that the epidemic had hit hard in Northern Italy. In Sweden, there are now  ten times more people dying than in neighbouring Finland where coffee shops and restaurants are closed.”

However, on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in Finland, some analysts are having second thoughts about the Finnish strategy. Osmo Soininvaara, ex-MP and ex-minister, wrote in his blog that “once the corona crisis is over, the number of deaths in Sweden and Finland is the same. The difference is that in Sweden the death toll has been reached faster. And our economy is in ruins, but the Swedish one will be the strongest in Europe”.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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