Swedish euro poll to go ahead despite murder

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The Independent Online

Sweden decided to push ahead with plans for a referendum on the euro on Sunday despite the murder of Anna Lindh, the Foreign Minister, by a man who stabbed her in a department store.

Police were still searching for the killer last night.

Goran Persson, the Prime Minister, announced the suspension of the referendum campaign in a nationwide address but said: "I want everyone to go to vote in Sunday's referendum. The right to vote is fundamental to democracy. Violence will not prevail."

Swedes engulfed by grief placed candles and red roses next to campaign posters featuring Ms Lindh and thousands attended vigils a day after she was stabbed only a few streets away from where the former prime minister Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986.

Ms Lindh, 46, died of massive bleeding early yesterday after five hours of surgery. She was known in Sweden as the "queen of the yes vote" in the referendum, in which the "no" camp had been in the lead until her death.

Tributes poured in for Ms Lindh yesterday from around the world. Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, said she was a "great foreign minister, a great Swede and a great European". She had been tipped as the next Swedish leader and was seen as Mr Palme's heir.