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Europe

European Press Review: Lindh's Death and the Euro

Europe’s newspapers on Friday commented on the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and on the possible repercussions for the upcoming referendum on the euro.

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Sweden's Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was a leading pro-euro campaigner.

"Lightning fast, destructive, inexplicable. As mysterious as divine retribution," wrote Italy's Il Messaggero in its editorial on Anna Lindh's death. Appalled, Sweden is discovering that it must find its way in a world that no longer has any free and safe zones and it's discovering that it's unprepared, the paper said.

Spain's El Mundo commented that if the assassin had planned to kill a supporter of the euro, he may have accomplished the opposite. He may have mobilized hundreds of thousands of undecided voters to cast their ballots in favor of adopting the common European currency. If the euro camp is victorious on Sunday, they will owe the triumph to Anna Lindh.

The French business daily Les Echos warned that if Swedes turn down the euro it will have a tidal wave of consequences for the entire European Union. Not just at the economic level, the paper wrote, but even more so in terms of image. If Sweden turns away from Europe, it could spread to other current and future EU members.

The Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad called the attack on Lindh a bitter defeat for Swedish democracy. In such a modern and self-confident society like Sweden's, they now will be forced to forego the open interaction between political leaders and the public. It makes little difference whether Lindh's death was a pre-meditated assassination or the act of a crazed individual.