• Sweden edition
 
JUHOLT PAYMENTS SCANDAL
Probe dropped, Juholt to remain party leader

Probe dropped, Juholt to remain party leader

Published: 14 Oct 2011 15:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Oct 2011 17:44 GMT+02:00

The powerful committee had been huddled behind closed doors all day on Friday in what was described as a meeting that would decide Juholt's fate.

The crisis meeting had been called in response to an ever-growing scandal stemming from revelations that Juholt had been pocketing accommodation reimbursements he wasn't entitled to.

Around 3.30pm on Friday afternoon, three members of the committee emerged to a swarm of reporters, announcing that the executive committee was united in its continuing confidence in Juholt.

Committee member Sven-Erik Österberg explained how challenging the situation had been and that the meeting was filled with long and difficult conversations.

“It's a very troublesome situation,” he said.

“Our party leader is prepared to continue working and we support our party leader in his work.”

Before heading into the meeting early Friday morning, Juholt said he planned to tell the committee about his plan for the party, emphasizing that the party's rank and file held his fate in their hands.

“Ultimately it's determined by the party members. Ultimately, it's done by the citizens,” he said.

Following the meeting, Juholt and party secretary Carin Jämtin held a joint press conference at Social Democrat party headquarters on Sveavägen in Stockholm.

“The party leader himself wants to, and has the will to go out across the country and discuss and talk about the situation that has occurred,” Jämtin told reporters.

“We are united in our support of that decision.

“We believe it's going to be a long road to win back confidence. But we are ready to take that road,” she added.

Juholt explained that began the executive committee meeting promising to travel across the country to “listen, talk, and most of all hear” what people think.

“There are so many people in our country with justifiably high ambitions for social democracy, who have high ambitions for me as party leader, who so deeply want to see the country move in another political direction than that the government is taking,” Juholt told reporters during the press conference.

“I want to apologise to those who feel that I've disappointed them. I feel in my marrow the anger and the disappointment that many people feel.”

Shortly after the executive committee emerged to announce its continuing support for Juholt, chief prosecutor Björn Ericson issed a decision that he was dropping an ongoing preliminary criminal investigation launched in the wake of the reimbursement scandal.

When the details emerged a week ago in a report in the Aftonbladet daily, Juholt initially apologised and agreed to pay back the outstanding amount of wrongly-claimed payments, reported to be 160,000 kronor ($23,960).

Juholt has claimed that he was unaware of the Riksdag regulations which stipulate that MPs are not allowed to claim reimbursement for the full rent if they, as in Juholt's case, share their apartment.

According to Ericson, there was insufficient evidence to show that any crime had been committed in the matter.

While Juholt may have submitted faulty information on his reimbursement forms, there was noting to suggest that he willfully mislead officials at the Riksdag in failing to mention he shared his flat with his girlfriend.

In addition to police reports about Juholt's accommodation reimbursements, police have also received complaints about Juholt's rental car allowances, as well as funding he received for a trip to Belarus.

“There have been quite a lot of complaints filed. We're going to look at them next week,” Ericson told the TT news agency.

Following a review of the additional complaints, the prosecutor will decide whether or not there may be grounds for additional preliminary investigations.

“We've also received complaints about other people for the same incidents,” said Ericson, although he refused to comment on who the other people might be.

Gothenburg University political science professor Ulf Bjereld called the Social Democrats' choice to stick by Juholt a "wise decision".

Had Juholt been ousted, Bjereld wrote on his blog, the Social Democrats would have been "paralyzed" while they worked to find yet another leader.

"The party would have been demobilized politically," he wrote.

Bjereld added that much hard work remains for Juholt to regain the faith of voters and party members.

"It's not impossible, but the uphill climb is very steep," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Södertörn University political scientist Nicholas Aylott said he was "certainly surprised" that Juholt had survived the day.

"I'm surprised the executive committee didn't conclude that it's going to be impossible for him to regain his authority," Aylott told The Local.

He argued that keeping Juholt deprives the party of an opportunity to "make a collective choice" about the direction it wants to take.

"What you're left with is a leader without a mandate to do one thing or the other," he said.

He added that party insiders must have nevertheless decided that the process of choosing a new leader would have been more painful than simply sticking with Juholt, despite the damage he may have sustained as a result of the scandal.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:16 October 14, 2011 by orangetree
just another mistake !
16:56 October 14, 2011 by Svensksmith
I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to probe Juholt, either.
17:04 October 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
"Our party leader is prepared to continue working and we support our party leader in his work."

Of course he is prepared to continue working...he doesn't want to be unemployed! Neither does he want to flush his career down the toilet! This will be a lasting bruise on the man and opposing parties will always be able to put this issue into the news headlines whenever they want to sway public opinion against S. This is way worse than Sahlin's Toblerone affair. It weakens the party even further. Huge mistake.
17:56 October 14, 2011 by bells on the knight
what a dream scenario for the alliance parties LOL. The social democrats obviously have no aspirations to run for parliament next round.

Really funny to have a true dork as party leader. This one beats G. W. Bush by light years. Bush might have been stupid but not stupid, ignorant AND arrogant.
18:36 October 14, 2011 by Grokh
So long he pays back + a fine for messing around with the forms.

problem is how many politicians do stuff like this and worse, but dont get caught.
18:37 October 14, 2011 by mark65
its amazing what these people get away with these days. the people are so asleep they cant see what s going on. i bet most of the politicians are dipping into the cookie jar. Wake up people and make them answerable to you. they work for us not the other way round..
19:25 October 14, 2011 by RobinHood
Now that all this unpleasantness is under the carpet, Mr Julholt and his party have shown the Swedish electorate the ethics, honesty and integrity they will use when they govern Sweden.

I suspect the Swedish electorate is looking forward to showing Mr Julholt and his party how they feel about his expenses.
19:36 October 14, 2011 by Jools33
I had been planning to vote for the social democrats in the next election (after voting folk partiet last time) - but after this scandal - and with the party leader not prepared to resign, I will most likely vote alliance again.
19:46 October 14, 2011 by Svensksmith
Polticians often play by different rules than the rest of us.
20:28 October 14, 2011 by Taxlady
Mona Sahlin committed fraud as well and was kept on....she used the money to take her family to Spain on vacation and bought a new wardrobe. Oh and Toblerone chocolate.

So anything goes here.

I was hoping he would do the honourable thing and step down. Then if there was someone with a margin of Charisma and more than a peanut for a brain there would be new leadership.
01:08 October 15, 2011 by skumdum
I don't like the socialists but the fact is that he didn't break any rules.
01:43 October 15, 2011 by oOjimOo
ALL politicians, no matter what party, should be under scrunity. We pay for their fraud! It comes out of tax payers money. Nej Halt should be MADE go! If an ordinary person defrauded or "hoodwinked" the system they would be MADE pay the price! The electorate should give themt

heir notice!
10:27 October 15, 2011 by StockholmSam
Sets a nice precedent for all of the other fraudsters out there. I don't see how a court could convict a person of defrauding the government out of bostadsbidrag now that they have accepted Juholt's actions as legitimate.
11:58 October 15, 2011 by Lavaux
Kudos to the Swedish press for covering the corruption of one of their own fellow travelers. America doesn't really have such a press anymore. Obama could pocket billions of TARP dollars and the American press would look the other way.
16:59 October 15, 2011 by Rebel
The American press would have crucified Bush if he had as corrupt an administration as Obama. Juholt is merely an amateur.
17:53 October 15, 2011 by bells on the knight
really really lucky SOB ........ in the short run. long run - TOAST.
11:32 October 16, 2011 by Borilla
Time to go Green!
Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

974
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN