Olof Palme

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Olof Palme

Sven Olof Joachim Palme (Stockholm, January 30, 1927 – Ib., February 28, 1986) was a Swedish politician. He served as Prime Minister of Sweden for 10 years in two stages: from 1969 to 1976, and again from 1982 until his assassination. He was also leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) from 1969 to 1986, and vice president of the Socialist International since 1973.

Coming from a wealthy family, he showed interest in politics since he was young and in 1949 he would join the SAP. After obtaining a law degree from the University of Stockholm, with a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Ohio (United States), he began working in the secretariat of Prime Minister Tage Erlander and experienced a progressive promotion within the party. he was elected parliamentarian of the Second Chamber for the Jönköping constituency; In 1965 he became Minister of Transportation, and in 1967 he was appointed Minister of Education. Finally, Palme obtained the confidence of Erlander to succeed him as prime minister when he resigned in October 1969.

Palme was especially recognized for his role in foreign policy, marked by three guidelines: the defense of pacifism, the fulfillment of human rights and the commitment to the states of the Third World. neutral policy with harsh criticism equally to the United States and the Soviet Union, something unprecedented in a Western country during the Cold War, by which would promote a disarmament process that contrasted with the arms race of the two great world powers. The leader approached the movement of non-aligned countries, became the first European leader to make an official visit to Cuba after his revolution, supported the African National Congress in its fight against apartheid, and defended the democratic transition of Spain In his last term in Sweden, he maintained that personality by becoming one of the largest recipients of political refugees. that has been maintained over time, and mediate the Iran-Iraq war at the request of the UN For all these reasons, Palme is considered one of the most influential Swedish politicians of the 20th century along with Raoul Wallenberg and Dag Hammarskjöld.

At the national level, the first three legislatures were characterized by the strengthening of the Swedish welfare state, the reform of the parliament towards a unicameral system, and the limitation of the political authority still held by the Swedish monarchy. In 1976, a centrist coalition government of Thorbjörn Fälldin separated the SAP from the government after four decades of hegemony, despite which Palme remained the leader of the opposition. The left bloc would win the elections again in 1982 and 1985 thanks to a stimulus program to get Sweden out of the economic crisis it was going through, and which he sold as a “third way of social democracy”. < / p>

On February 28, 1986, in full exercise of his position as prime minister, Palme was killed by a stranger while he was walking in the company of his wife. This attack was the first assassination that took place. he committed in the Scandinavian country since the crime against King Gustav III in 1792. The causes of the crime have not yet been clarified.

Olof_Palme’s Biography

Origins and formation

Palme was born in the Östermalm district of Stockholm. Despite coming from an affluent family of Dutch and German descent, their political orientation came to be influenced by social democratic ideas. His trips to the Third World, as well as to the United States (where he witnessed a deep economic inequality and racial segregation) helped define his views.

With a scholarship, he studied at Kenyon College in Ohio between 1947 and 1948, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in less than a year. After traveling through the United States, he returned to Sweden to study law at the University of Stockholm. During his time at the university, he became involved in student politics, in collaboration with the National Union of Students of Sweden. In 1951 he became a member of the Social Democratic Student Association of Stockholm. The following year, he was elected president of the National Student Union of Sweden.

Political career

In 1953, Palme was recruited by social-democrat Prime Minister Tage Erlander to work for his government. In 1957 he was elected as a deputy in the Riksdag.

Palme has held various posts in Swedish governments since 1963. In 1967 he was appointed Minister of Education. When the leader of the Tage Erlander party resigned from power in 1969, Palme was elected as the new leader of the Social Democratic Party and the Prime Minister of Sweden.

Palme became, together with Raoul Wallenberg and Dag Hammarskjöld, the 20th-century Swedish politician best known internationally, due to his 125 months in office as Prime Minister, as well as his opposition to the American foreign policy (not common in capitalist Europe of the Cold War) and its murder.

Strongly defended its principles in various forums, criticizing the United States with respect to the Vietnam War, the Soviet Union with regard to the occupation of Czechoslovakia, nuclear weapons and the policy of apartheid in South Africa; while he defended the right to self-determination of Palestine and the US non-intervention in Cuba. But above all, he was characterized by his defense of pacifism and universalism.

At the international level, he made a deep commitment to the problems of the Third World countries, as well as issues of democracy and disarmament. He condemned, often in drastic terms, the excesses of dictatorship on both the right and the left. During the Vietnam War he harshly criticized the performance of the United States. He carried out a series of international missions, being a UN mediator for a certain period in the Iran-Iraq war.

Murder

Place of the murder of Olof Palme, at the intersection of Sveavägen and Tunnelgatan streets, in Stockholm The exact place is where the three girls stand, right at the crossroads. The killer fled through Tunnelgatan, to the right of the image.

Palme was killed on Friday, February 28, 1986 in Stockholm, at 23:21 CET (22:21 UTC), while walking home from the cinema with his wife Lisbet. At that time, the couple was not wearing bodyguards. A man approached them and fired point-blank at Palme’s back, who died within minutes.

From that moment and to the present, because the crime has never been resolved, many theories have been pointed out, many tracing a political motive after the assassination. If the first arrest was aimed at Swedish right-wing groups, they have subsequently been shuffled, among others, the authorship of a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), or that of the South African apartheid secret services. Other theories, less contrasted, implicated in the crime Pinocheto agents or the German group Red Army Fraction (RAF).

However, a single person has been condemned for the murder of Palme. Two years after the event, Christer Pettersson, a petty junkie and criminal, was arrested, tried and sentenced for the murder, mainly thanks to the testimony of Lisbet Palme, who recognized him as the perpetrator of the shooting. ] However, the conviction was subsequently overturned by the Swedish Supreme Court for lack of evidence.

The murder would have been prescribed on Monday, February 28, 2011, 25 years after its commission. However, in 2010 the Swedish Parliament changed the statute of limitations for very serious crimes, avoiding it.


Predecessor:
Gösta Skoglund

Minister of Communications of Sweden

1965-1967
Successor:
Svante Lundkvist
Predecessor:
Ragnar Edenman

Minister of Education of Sweden

1967-1969
Successor:
Ingvar Carlsson
Predecessor:
Erlander Tage
President of the Social Democratic Party
1969-1986
Successor:
Ingvar Carlsson
Predecessor:
Erlander Tage

Prime Minister of Sweden

1969-1976
Successor:
Thorbjörn Fälldin
Predecessor:
Thorbjörn Fälldin

Prime Minister of Sweden

1982-1986
Successor:
Ingvar Carlsson

More Facts about Olof Palme

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