Ministers flout Riksdag housing rules
Published: 26 Apr 2011 16:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2011 16:53 GMT+02:00
Several Swedish government ministers continue to violate Riksdag housing rules by refusing to give up temporary accommodations normally reserved for MPs, according to an investigation carried out by Swedish newspaper Metro
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Unlike regular MPs, who are assigned overnight flats, members of the Swedish government are supposed to make their own living arrangements in Stockholm.
But Metro found that three government ministers still occupy the studios they were assigned as members of the Riksdag.
In addition, one lives in student apartment and another refused to say how he has solved his housing problem.
Although most government ministers today are bona fide Stockholm residents, there are still those that choose to reside outside of the capital.
About a fourth of these ministers have invested in an overnight flat in the city.
According to Metro, the rest are wrestling with an ongoing housing problem.
However, three have solved their housing challenge by choosing not to give up their Riksdag assigned studio flats, despite rules stipulating they no longer have the right to live in such flats.
Stefan Attefall, minister for public administration and housing, Göran Hägglund, minister for health and social affairs, and Eskil Erlandsson, minister for rural affairs, are all occupying overnight flats meant for Riksdag MPs.
Ulf Kristersson, minister for social security, did not want to tell Metro any particulars about his living arrangements, he announced through his press secretary.
Swedish finance minister Anders Borg admitted as early as 2009 that he was living in a flat meant for students or staff from the Swedish Military Academy (Försvarshögskolan).
On the Swedish talk show ‘Skavlan’ he revealed that he was ‘renting a student flat from a student foundation’.
“If the foundation has flats that aren’t needed for students, they can rent them out to other state employees. That is how Anders got his flat. He is not in competition with students in need of accommodation, “ Borg’s press secretary Markus Sjöqvist told daily Dagens Nyheter at the time.
Sjöqvist reiterated this statement to Metro in 2011.
Political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren is surprised that several ministers chose to flout the rules.
“If government ministers can’t set a good example on the housing market, they can’t ask the public to abide rules either,” he told Metro.