Swedish communists condemn bid to shift burden of COVID-19 on to workers

The mitigation strategy of the Swedish state to fight COVID-19 without going for a lockdown has received widespread criticism. The government has also announced sops for corporates

April 15, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Covid-19 in Sweden
State authorities in Stockholm have trained special police units to "deal with disorders (protests)” against government insensitivity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Communists in Sweden have criticized the plan set in motion by the government to shift the entire burden of the COVID-19 crisis on to the backs of workers. The Communist Party of Sweden (SKP) accused the government of putting at risk the lives of thousands of workers by not closing down non-essential production in different sectors in the country. The SKP has called for a class alliance against monopoly companies in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 13, Monday, Andreas Sorensen from the SKP leadership told Peoples Dispatch that the party is staunchly opposed to all programs that aid monopolies. So far, the Swedish state has promised support packages of 1,300 billion Swedish Krona (SEKs) (USD 130.16 billion) to big banks and monopolies, while even the most basic aid has been denied to the working population. On the other hand, the government has seized the moment to terminate employment, lower wages and push through measures aimed at reducing employment security, Sorensen alleged.

“The Communist Party of Sweden stands on the side of the working population, on the side of those still forced to work, on the side of those being laid off and on the side of the healthcare personnel, forced to work with minimum resources,” he added.

The Communist newspaper Riktpunkt had earlier reported that state authorities in Stockholm have trained special police units to “deal with disorders (protests)” against government insensitivity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sweden has so far not declared a lockdown citing certain constitutional procedures. Sweden’s public health authority – which is in charge of dealing with the pandemic – has been following a mitigation strategy targeting old age people and people with underlying illness. Such a strategy by the Swedish government has drawn widespread criticism.  A study published by The Lancet has already pointed out that “the initial slowness of reaction from countries such as the UK, the US and Sweden now appears to be increasingly unwelcome”. 

As of April 15, over 11,900  people have contracted the disease and over 1,200 have died.

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