Protesters evicted from Swedish parliament

Singing protesters demanding amnesty for all asylum-seekers in Sweden were evicted from the Swedish parliament Wednesday after interrupting a debate on the issue, authorities said.

A group of seven young women stood up in the public gallery of the chamber and sang a song accusing Sweden of being racist, set to the melody of the national anthem, as Migration Minister Barbro Holmberg was about to speak, according to the AP.

The public gallery was emptied for about 20 minutes. Lawmakers were to vote later Wednesday on a proposal for an amnesty for all refugees who applied for asylum before March 31 this year, and who remain in the country by the end of February 2006. If approved, the amnesty would apply to about 34,000 people, many of them families with young children, the government has said.

However, the proposal is unlikely to pass as Sweden's two biggest parties, the Social Democrats and the Moderates, have said they will vote against it. The other five parties in Parliament support the bill, and the small Green Party, which supports the Social Democrats in Parliament, has said it will not approve the government's 2006 budget proposal until the amnesty issue is settled.

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