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Mug shot mugs taxpayers

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21:02 CET+01:00
Mug shot mugs taxpayersWhen a picture of newly elected young Moderates leader Johan Forssell appeared in a recent council brochure, politicians decided his face didn't fit the bill.

Stockholm County Council promptly decided to reprint the lot, leaving taxpayers to foot a new bill of nearly 60,000 crowns.

The brochure, produced by Stockholm's education authority, outlined new school plans for the city.

In Wednesday's Svenska Dagbladet authority chief Erik Nilsson said "it was unreasonable to reprint the whole thing on the grounds of a picture" and blamed communication problems.

Naturally there has been a fair share of criticism. The Moderate party's Mikael Söderlund has demanded an inquiry into the matter, saying, "It's completely irresponsible and a shocking waste of taxpayers' money."

The man at the centre of the controversy, Johan Forssell, believes the "red-green" ruling coalition in the city should pay back the extra cost of the reprint.

"This is obviously a political decision, he said. "I think the coalition in Stockholm should pay back the money which has disappeared."

At least they're doing their bit for the environment though. According to SVD, the original 40,000 colour copies have been carted off to the council's recycling bin.

MP's personal finances were under scrutiny too this week, as Aftonbladet revealed an expenses wheeze that leaves many of Sweden's politicians living - or at least eating - like royalty.

When Sweden's political bigwigs attend the king's gala dinners, they can expect better fare than meatballs, pasta and a dollop of ketchup. But some of them also expect to be paid for the privilege, according to Wednesday's Aftonbladet.

Swedish MPs receive up to 330 crowns per day in expense allowances. But if lunch or dinner is provided free of charge they should deduct 115 crowns from that. Instead, they're apparently dining with royalty and pocketing the money themselves.

What's more, they're not even denying it. Green Party spokesman Peter Eriksson openly admitted the scam.

"I am sure I have forgotten on occasions and that many others have done too," he said.

Social democrat MP Reynholdh Furustrand nonchalantly added, "I thought I was invited to dinner. If you're invited to dinner you expect the host to pay."

In an attempt to backtrack on the above quote he added, "The food wasn't bad but it wasn't that extravagant."

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet

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