Sweden: one down…

Sweden’s new right-wing government has got off to a dream start.  After an election promising a fresh start for Sweden and a new politics, the government has already had its first resignation.  More could be on the cards.

Maria Borelius, of the conservative Moderates Party, was appointed to be the new trade minister last week.  In that week she admitted that she hasn’t bought a TV license for years, that she “couldn’t afford” to pay the national insurance on her domestic servant, that her house(s) are owned by a company based in Jersey (a company she strangely owns), and that despite the plea of poverty over her nanny, she is in fact one of Sweden’s richest people.  Phew!  After that week of fun she threw in the towel yesterday, and flew into London this morning to spend some time in one of her other houses.

The Swedish media have got their tails up, and next on the “to do” list is Cecilia Stegö Chilò, the new culture minister. 

Stegö Chilòis – also a member of the Moderates – is responsible for the funding of the state TV channel SVT.  It turns out she hasn’t bothered to buy a license for 16 years. 

Aftonbladet (Sweden’s Mirror) has been joined by Expressen (Sun) and Goteborgs Posten (Scotsman) in demanding her resignation.  Tobias Billström (yes, also a Moderate), has also forgotten to pay his TV license – and criminal charges have now been filed against all three.

A good first month in the life of Sweden’s Tory government!

An interesting post script to this story is that most of the allegations against Borelius were made, and proved, by a left-wing blogger.  Magnus Ljungqvist is a party worker in one of Sweden’s county councils.  He runs his blog on the principle of “citizen journalism”, so when Borelius said she “coudn’t afford” to the pay tax on her domestic help, Ljungqvist went off and got her most recent tax returns.  If you can speak Swedish, you can read about Magnus in Aftonbladet here


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