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Local council subsidised porn company

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12:17 CEST+02:00

A German-owned IT company received employment subsidies and cheap offices in a former school when it set up in the county of Bjurholm.

But what nobody seemed to realise was that the company owned pornographic web sites and handled the administration of sites through which punters could contact prostitutes.

"If this is true then I'll be very annoyed," said Ingemar Nyman, chairman of the local council, to local newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren.

"We sold the school because we saw advantages in bringing employment opportunities here."

The German company, Artergo International, bought the school for a paltry 10 000 kronor.

Artergo was awarded a grant of 800,000 kronor in employment subsidies, of which 174,000 kronor has already been paid out.

"We have no stated ethical rules," admitted county governor Lorentz Andersson.

"But if we had been informed that the company was involved in pornography we obviously wouldn't have given them the grant."

As well as its own porn sites, the company administers and hosts thousands of others.

"We are just the technical intermediaries between our customers and the internet. At Artergo we absolutely do not produce pornography," said part-owner, Andreas Buchberger.

"I'm surprised about all the fuss around this. Our operation causes no problems at all. Erotica is part of everyday life," he said.

Buchberger emphasised that pornography involving animals and children is not accepted on the sites which the company hosts. And according to Västerbottens-Kuriren, the company has not broken any Swedish laws.

TT/The Local

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