Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sweden: King Carl XVI Gustaf Opens Parliament
Via The Local: Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf. The King and other royal guests arrived at the Riksdag by horse and carriage, accompanied by a brass band. They were greeted by the newly elected Speaker in parliament, Urban Ahlin. The royal family had previously attended a service by Archbishop Antje Jackelén in Stockholm Cathedral, where they were also joined by Sweden's newly elected MPs. The King made a speech, commenting on the recent heatwave in Sweden. He said that the country had enjoyed a "great summer", but offered his respects to those affected by floods in Malmö and a forest fire in Sala in central Sweden. The King added that Sweden's good fortunes stood in contrast to months of war and violence elsewhere in the world, referring to "war, ethnic conflicts, and humanitarian crises that seem difficult to limit and control". "It is with sadness and pain that we see and follow human suffering. We are horrified by the killing and suffering of children and all others who are fleeing for their lives", he told parliament. King Carl XVI Gustaf then reflected on Sweden's new and divided parliament. He described the current political landscape as one "that may lack well-known landmarks", but added that Sweden was a "stable country with a democratic social order". Parliament was declared open after his final comments, when he wished for "power and wisdom" for Sweden's politicians.