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Designer handbag makes political waves

Jan. 23, 2010 at 7:26 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The leader of a Swedish political party has stirred up debate after being photographed with an expensive designer handbag, local media report.

Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin and leaders of other political parties were featured in a group photograph, thelocal.se reported Saturday.

Sahlin is pictured with an $828 Louis Vuitton handbag, which has drawn both criticism and support from politicians and commentators, the news Web site said.

"A Social Democrat party leader must always have social equality at the fore," Goran Greider wrote in a letter to the newspaper Aftonbladet. "Consumerism comes from the rich."

But others came to her defense.

"I don't think that leading politicians need to start giving an account for what clothes they have," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told Aftonbladet.

Reinfeldt owns a luxury briefcase worth about the same as Sahlin's bag, a gift from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the newspaper said.

"I haven't asked any question's about Mona Sahlin's bag and I don't need to answer any when it comes to my own things," he said.

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