Extreme-right paper granted press subsidies

A newspaper run by Sweden's right-wing extremist National Democrat party has been granted 2.3 million kronor ($319,000) in state press subsidies.

The decision was taken on Wednesday by the Press Subsidies Council (Presstödsnämnden), which does not take a newspaper’s political views into account when making decisions on state support.

The council ruled that the National Democrats’ weekly newspaper, Nationell Idag (National Today’), fulfilled the criteria necessary to qualify for operational press subsidies. For example, the council found that the newspaper publishes more than 1,500 copies, is primarily sold to subscribers, and publishes at least 1,000 column metres of editorial material per year.

Nationell Idag was granted 699,583 kronor for August to December last year, as well as 1.679 million kronor for 2010.

The decision did not enjoy unanimous support, with one of the nine council representatives present calling for a further examination of whether Nationell Idag can be considered a “general newspaper that has the publication of regular general news as its primary function.”

On its website the Press Subsidies Council explains that it is “a governmental organisation whose task is to safeguard the diversity of the daily newspaper market. It carries out its function by distributing the state’s subsidy to the daily press.”

The council disburses operational subsidies totalling 483 million kronor a year to around 80 newspapers.

The National Democrat party, which enjoys very little support among the electorate, blames the majority of Sweden’s modern day problems on immigration, as it explains on its website:

“Nordic virtues as honesty, helpfulness, willingness to work, a good attitude toward women and respectful treatment of animals, are constantly being replaced by criminality and oppression of women, hostility against Swedes, abuse of social welfare, gang rapes and cruelty to animals. All as a consequence of the imposed multi-cultural society.”

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