Ex-minister to claim 97,000 kronor a month for year off

The previous government's minister for the environment, Lena Sommestad, has decided to take a lucrative career break. Sommestad has a job at Uppsala University but has told Dagens Nyheter that she needs to take time to plan her academic future.

Instead of earning 37,600 kronor a month at the university’s Department of Economic History, Sommestad’s extended holiday means that she can avail of a ministerial golden handshake to the tune of 97,000 kronor per month.

All former ministers are entitled to a year’s full salary while seeking other employment. Had Sommestad returned to her university job, she would still be entitled to receive the larger ministerial sum.

Uppsala University has agreed to take Sommestad back in September 2007, which is also when the state compensation comes to an end.

Sommestad told Dagens Nyheter: “I need time to find my feet and reflect.”