“I’ve got no explanation” – culture minister

Culture minister Cecilia Stegö Chilò says she will pay her television licence fee, after it emerged that she had not paid for the past 16 years.

She held a press conference following a meeting with the heads of Swedish Radio and SVT, at which she insisted that she was “very engaged” in public service broadcasting, “despite the other issue, which I know you’re all here for today.”

“I cannot can only express regret over the most unfortunate facts that were uncovered yesterday. There is really no explanation. I have apologised to the heads of the public service organizations.”

She also apologised to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

“As Fredrik Reinfeldt did not know about this, it could be that he offered me this ministerial job on false grounds,” she said.

The conference was stopped after a few minutes by a press secretary, and Stegö Chilò was ushered out the room.

It emerged on Wednesday afternoon that a further two ministers had not paid their licence fees. Migration minister Tobias Billström said he had not paid it since he left his parents’ home ten years ago, and put it down to youthful ignorance.

“I chose not to pay, as I didn’t think SVT produced good programmes. But you get wiser with the years, and of course I believe that one should follow the laws that have been passed,” he said.

Trade minister Maria Borelius, who has also been in trouble for not paying taxes on her nannies’ wages, told the TV licensing authorities at lunchtime on Wednesday that she has a television at home. She has not paid the fee since she moved to Sweden from London at the end of August.