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Minister slammed for weapons export blunder

Minister slammed for weapons export blunder

Published: 23 Apr 2012 07:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Apr 2012 07:10 GMT+02:00

Sweden's enterprise minster Annie Lööf has come in for heavy criticism following a blunder about Sweden’s arms exports.

In an interview broadcast on Saturday on Sveriges Radio (SR), Lööf didn’t rule out exporting arms to China – despite an arms embargo having been imposed on the country since 1989.

“If we don’t export weapons to China, as far as pesticides or other equipment for instance, what consequences would that have,” said Lööf on the air.

When asked whether Sweden ought to be able to export weapons to China, Lööf responded:

“Sweden should export to countries we cooperate with and have agreements with, as long as the legislation we have is respected.”

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (Svenska Freds) were upset by the minister’s ignorance.

“Beneath contempt and very worrying,” said the society’s chairwoman Anna Ek to newspaper Expressen.

Ek finds it surprising that Lööf seems unaware of the EU’s arms embargo.

The mistake also surprised political scientist Ulf Bjereld, who believes the minister’s mistake may affect her credibility.

“Two things about this are very strange. She implies that China is in some sort of grey area, but the foreign ministry is very clear in its definition of the country as a dictatorship. The other thing is that she implies that Sweden might very well sell weapons to China, even though the EU has imposed an arms embargo on the country,” he said to newspaper Aftonbladet.

In retrospect, Lööf admits that her statement about China was unfortunate.

“I definitely didn’t intend to suggest that Sweden ought to export arms to China, and I don’t consider China to be a democracy,” Annie Lööf wrote, via her press secretary, in a text message to news agency TT.

“My intention was to explain how the system which regulates arms exports works, and which authorities and systems handle decisions on the matter,” she stated.

“I wanted to illustrate how complicated these systems are and that the Centre Party and myself have demanded tightened rules. My use of China as a theoretical example was unfortunate,” concluded Annie Lööf.

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

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Your comments about this article

08:02 April 23, 2012 by skogsbo
A kid in an adults job.
08:12 April 23, 2012 by sleezypornorangutang
Do you know what used not to buzz, and did not fit into one´s behind?

A russian as*buzzer. Things are more complicated these days.
09:43 April 23, 2012 by Puffin
@ skogsbo

Yes we obviously need lower salaries for young party leaders as they lack the knowledge and experience to do a proper job and need to make themselves more employable ;-)

I wonder who thought of that cunning plan? ;-)
11:29 April 23, 2012 by krrodman
She is the Enterprise Minister. Her job is to create business. Nothing more, nothing less. Very simple, really. Cold capitalism.

It is for someone else to decide if the new business is a good idea, or even a legal idea. Not her department. :))
11:50 April 23, 2012 by skogsbo
kroddman, but in order to hope to help grease the wheels of industry, it helps if you have some life and work experience wtihin it? How respect is she likely to get globally, when compared to her equivalent from other countries who are often in their 50s with 20-30 'real' experience behind them. She is not helping Sweden at all, her pretty face will only go so far as to get her invites to attend this and that, but nothing else.
13:08 April 23, 2012 by Decedo
It's understandable that she didn't know about the embargo since 1989, because it was before she was born. Sweden is lucky that it's a small somewhat insignificant country where it can throw youngsters into profile roles and excuse their political blunders on the worlds stage.
13:11 April 23, 2012 by Puffin
@ krrodman

you have some very strange ideas if you actually believe that Government Ministers are not responsible for following the business laws that Ministers present to parliament - she is responsible for all government legislation
17:12 April 23, 2012 by rise
#1

Agreed. She now has shown to everyone actually how young she really is. However she WAS born before 1989 - that year she celebrated her sixth birthday. Not bad! ;D
18:38 April 23, 2012 by thisworldsisajungle
@ skogsbo

"How respect is she likely to get globally, when compared to her equivalent from other countries who are often in their 50s with 20-30 'real' experience behind them"

Yes , It is %200 correct.Sweden needs to have a dinosaur as minister.

As he has at least 100000000 year experience of working in the post.Thanks for

your GREAT suggestion. KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS
18:48 April 23, 2012 by calebian22
Who cares what she says? All I heard was boobies.
20:53 April 23, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Annie Lööf is a HOTTIE!! ;)
20:58 April 23, 2012 by skogsbo
decado, so you only obew laws come that were set as legal acts after you were born? Great, so legally the theft act amongst others doesn't apply to me? ;)

Jungle, better to employ an old school dinosaur who at least understand Sweden global position, than a fresh off the playground kid who probably still can't believe she has job, with an office and her own desk & telephone!!
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