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Sweden's royal household criticised by auditors

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10:19 CET+01:00
The Swedish National Audit Office has criticised the royal household for not fully accounting for the way that it spends the money it receives from the state.

Last year the royals received 96 million kronor of state money. Around half of this went towards the upkeep of the royal palaces at Drottningholm, Gripsholm and Tullgarn. The other half went directly to the king to pay for the royal family's living expenses and to cover staffing costs.

The money paid directly to the king is covered by secrecy, and the royal household is under no obligation to account for it. However, the money for the upkeep of the palaces is in the public domain, and the national auditor has a right to inspect it. Of 200 staff working in the royal palaces, 60 are employed by the king directly, while the rest are paid out of the budget for the palaces' upkeep.

But auditor general Kurt Öberg has told Sveriges Radio that it is impossible for him to carry out his duties as the palace does not have adequate systems for keeping the two budgets separate. This means that parliament does not have an effective way to judge whether the royals are being funded efficiently, he argued.

“In my experience, there is no other example in the public sphere where accounting practices have made it impossible for us to draw conclusions,” he said.

However, Marshal of the Realm Ingmar Eliasson has hit back. He told Svenska Dagbladet that the royals need more money for security, claiming that the palace is less well protected than parliament and government offices.

“We need to improve protection of the Royal Palace in Stockholm and of Drottningholm,” he said. “In some respects, we also need to improve personal security,” he added. According to Dagens Nyheter, this meant paying for bodyguards for more members of the royal family. Currently only the king and Crown Princess Victoria have personal protection officers.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Radio

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