Bitter and unapologetic to the end.
Maybe he shouldn’t have tried so hard at being an anti-Semite. So long anti-Semitic chef, you spoiled one too many pots in your day, blaming others for your deep seated views is pathetic.
NOTE: Unfortunately, there are however, many more SDP politicians who are just as bad ready and willing to take up where Reepalu left off. From the comments:
The mayor turned his city into a globally recognised icon of anti-semitism; boycotted by Jewish tourists and boy scouts. The sort of place tourists to Sweden might pass right through for fear of being blown up by a bomb, attacked by a robber, shot by a gangster, or mistaken for a Jew and spat on by a Malmö citizen. The sort of place President Obama has to send his special anti-semitism representative to explain to the mayor how to behave. Let’s hope his long-overdue resignation will help detoxify this sad city’s rotten reputation.
Ilmar Reepalu claims that “badly chosen phrases on my part were misinterpreted and twisted into deeply insulting statements about my beliefs”.
Really? Where is the “misinterpretation”, how were his words “twisted” when he voluntarily chose to make the following statement to several newspapers both in Swedish (eg Skånskan) and English (eg The Sunday Telegraph). They are his words, nothing altered, removed or added: “There haven’t been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo.”
“There haven’t been any attacks on Jewish people”? And it is of no concern to the mayor of a city if people of a given ethnicity or religion from his city are hounded into leaving? And this man is the elected mayor?
The big question is not how Sweden is going to celebrate Ilmar Reeaplu’s departure from the position of Mayor in July, but whether in fact the country can afford to have him remain in his position that long.
Malmö mayor of two decades to step down
Published: 4 Feb 13 09:33 CET |
The Social Democrat mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu, has announced he is leaving the job on July 1st, saying he wants to spend more time with his grandchild.
Reepalu became mayor (kommunstyrelsens ordförande) of Sweden’s third largest city, situated in the south across the Öresund sound from Copenhagen, in 1994.
He announced his planned resignation in the debate pages of the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan on Monday.
In his letter to the paper, Reepalu brought up the anti-Semitism accusations levelled against him in recent years, which brought on a visit from US President Barack Obama’s special anti-Semitism representative Hannah Rosenthal.
“Badly chosen phrases on my part were misinterpreted and twisted into deeply insulting statements about my beliefs,” he wrote on Monday. His chief of staff at the time said that Rosenthal had planned to visit the city before the statements were made.
Reepalu also took the opportunity to look back at the entire tenure as head of Malmö municipality and the woes facing the city.
“The death of industry and the flight of business meant the municipality had reached a gigantic 22-percent unemployment rate,” he wrote about the early 1990s when the labour party took power in Malmö.
Listing the challenges he faced, Reepalu also wrote that the previous administration at city hall had left him with the biggest budget deficit in the history of Swedish municipal politics – 1.3 billion kronor ($200 million).
He decided to focus on Chalmers professor Åke E. Andersson’s vision of a K-Society – knowledge, creative resources, communications, cultural capital (kunskaper, kreativa resurser, kommunikationssystem, kulturellt kapital).
“Instead of Malmö desperately trying to attract big mature industry for the workers city, a rather pointless hunt tinged with the values of the past, I wanted us to focus on welfare-creating K:s.”