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ALMEDALEN 2010
Billström appointed employment minister

Billström appointed employment minister

Published: 07 Jul 2010 08:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jul 2010 12:08 GMT+02:00

The Swedish government has announced that migration minister Tobias Billström will take temporary charge of the employment ministry following the resignation of Sven Otto Littorin, citing personal reasons.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt confirmed a press conference on Wednesday that he had accepted Littorin's resignation.

"I have today, on Sven Otto Littorin's request, removed him from his ministerial post," Reinfeldt said adding that Billström was a natural stand in as the issues are closely related.

Sven Otto Littorin announced his decision to resign in a press conference of his own in Visby on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland on Wednesday morning.

"There are three reasons for this and those reasons are called Emma, Gustav and Arvid. They are my three children, who have had to pay the price of my public office," a clearly emotional Littorin said.

Littorin attended district court on Tuesday in connection with the custody proceedings and after the session was over, he decided that he no longer had the energy to continue as a minister.

Sven Otto Littorin has been employment minister since the 2006 general election. Prior to his post in the government, he represented the Moderate Party as party secretary.

Forty-four-year-old Littorin has previously worked at a PR bureau, been a member of several boards and worked as a political expert for Bo Lundgren at the Ministry of Finance from 1991 to 1993.

"For me, my children are worth more than my job, my career or anything else," Sven Otto Littorin said. "I have reached my limit. I am no longer prepared to pay this price - for my children's sake, for my sake and for my fiancée's sake."

Littorin said that media coverage of his custody battle had been incredibly taxing.

"Now that it has been laid clear that the conflicts with my ex-wife are set to continue, it is clear that I cannot cope."

Littorin told of the telephone calls from his daughter, when he himself was at the hospital with a heart complaint, that their home had been inundated with reporters.

"I was and am completely powerless in this situation and cannot, as a father, protect my children," Littorin said.

Peter Esaiasson, professor in political science, does not believe that Littorin's resignation will have any significant effect on the election campaign.

"Very small. The Moderates have to find another spokesperson for labour market issues and it is to be presumed that there are other leading politicians who are versed in these questions.

"It is so much better for the government that the resignation is due to personal reasons. It is then simply one wheel to be replaced by another wheel and there are very few wheels that are extremely important," he said.

However, Esaiasson noted that it is very unusual that a cabinet minister resigns so close to an election.

"The only one I can come up with off the top of my head is Olof Johansson before the 1994 election."

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt did not participate in Wednesday's press conference and his spokesperson said it was unclear when he would comment on Littorin's departure, which comes just two months ahead of the next general elections scheduled for September 19th.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:40 July 7, 2010 by Puffin
I'm surprised that he has held on this long!

I didn't think he would survive the scandal around the fact that he bought his 'MBA' on the internet back in 2006
09:55 July 7, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
So the Employment minister is now unemployed, thus adding to the unemployment statistics for the month of July

With unemployment as perhaps the most important election issue, Littorin's resignation makes for an even more exciting election.
10:04 July 7, 2010 by Frobobbles
What a wimp! Talking about 'how do you think it feels', to be stressed when in the hospital at intensive care for heart problems.

HE is responsible for forcing others with the same illness to the unemployment bureau, and taking their health insurance form them!

It was a fight to even get him and his colleagues to not remove the health insurance for immediately dying in cancer.
10:58 July 7, 2010 by G Kin
If a man can not put his family in order, how then can he put the public in order!.

A minster and his ex-wife, and both of them can not be level headed enough to settle this between them?.

It is a shame to you both. Is there a Dr. Phil in Sweden?.
12:24 July 7, 2010 by Kevin Harris
#2 #3 #4

How brave you all are, lining up to have a kick at a man clearly going through a difficult time in his life. I hope those about you don't treat you the same when your turn comes.

As it will.
13:24 July 7, 2010 by Puffin
@ Kevin Harris

You talk as though the custody battle is a temporary and passing phase a 'difficult time' - whereas it has been going on for years - the separation was 4 YEARS ago and they still cannot agree on custody and the whole thing has descended into a rather childish tit-for-tat

- they originally agreed to joint custody

- his wife has sued him for unpaid child support for 3 years - a total of 1.8 million kronor

- he refuses to pay child support as he doesn't like her new 'criminal' boyfriend ( who has a criminal record for business offences nothing violence or crime related)

- he responded to the case for child support by demanding in 2007 sole custody of the youngest child - yet he claimed in earlier court papers that his important job as a Minister only enabled him to see the children every other weekend

- they were back in court this week and could still not agree custody

So perhaps its as well that he steps down while he is sorting out this mess
14:58 July 7, 2010 by Kevin Harris
@ Puffin

That certainly sounds like a "difficult time" to me. Let's all hope it doesn't get to a point where even you agree it's "difficult".
20:25 July 7, 2010 by Laurence F
What does an employment minister do; magic tricks?

The only proven method to increasing employment is to reduce taxes and reduce government.

The firing of the Minister is a good first step in government reduction.

Simple, but it appears it is beyond the comprehension of socialist/communists.

Maybe you should introduce basic math to the Swedish education system.

You can start crying about helping the children, the women, the poor, the sick, etc. There is no end to those that "need" or supposed to need help; very condescending of you. Expect your world to fall apart; maybe not today, but just "give it time."
07:31 July 8, 2010 by Puffin
@ Laurance F

I'm sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about socialist/communists for?

You do get that Sweden has a Right Wing block and Conservative-led government? and has had since 2006?

You do realise that it was a Conservative party Minister that left office?

Or do you think the left block and Socialdemocrats are still in power LOL
12:26 July 8, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Beavis,

You're not supposed to understand this or to feel free

like me.

Rank and file of the lumpen proletariat. Sounds like Captain Lars Ohly of the salvation army doesn't it?

There is a rank and order system in the army. Think of the army and you think of people like General McChrystal, who also resigned. You may even think about Ali G the comedian being questioned about his qualifications and merits for entering the army, enquiring innocently, ” Does it help if I have killed somebody?”

With all empathy, sympathy, Buddhist compassion, some Rahman & Rahim, sad to say, the number of people in the army of the unemployed has been increased by 1, one Mr. Sven Otto Littorin who used to be chief of staff of the Employment Department of the current Swedish Government has been replaced by one Tobias Billström, just as General Stanley A. McChrystal has been replaced by General David H. Petraeus. The battle goes on.

People in stage three say that stage four is the cemetery.

“But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues

You can tell by the way she smiles”

Honey, it noh funny:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=U...+Sweden+in+July
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