Swedish ministers under fire for careless words

Swedish prime minister Göran Persson and two of his ministers have been criticised by the parliamentary constitution committee, which on Wednesday presents the findings of its inquiry into how the government has acquitted itself over the past 12 months.

A unanimous committee found that both Persson and health minister Morgan Johansson have been careless in their comments on sensitive matters, reported Swedish Radio’s Ekot programme.

In the case of the prime minister, the criticism relates to the two Egyptian terrorism suspects who were deported to Egypt with the help of America’s CIA.

Morgan Johansson ought to have refrained from commenting on allegations that the ‘apathetic’ refugee children were being mistreated by their families.

Defence minister Leni Björklund was also ticked off for her handling of a case relating to a suspected Russian war criminal who was invited to Sweden.

According to Ekot, the constitution committee wrote that it is important “that ministers, and not least the prime minister, show restraint with comments which could be damaging for individuals”.

The committee also complained that the ministers are slow to answer to questions raised in parliamentary debates.