Second Swedish minister resigns

Cecilia Stegö Chilò has resigned as Sweden's culture minister. After a week of intense media pressure following revelations about her private finances, Stegö Chilò handed in her letter of resignation to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Monday morning.

“By not paying my television licence fee and employing black market domestic help in the period before becoming minister, I have committed errors which are not acceptable, but which I have attempted to rectify as far as possible,” wrote Stegö Chilò in a statement.

Just a day after her appointment in Fredrik Reinfeldt’s cabinet, it emerged that Stegö Chilò had not paid employer’s tax for nannies she had used when her children were small.

In response she said she “knew it would crop up” but remained defiant – perhaps because tax breaks on home help is one of the policies of the new government.

A few days later a misdemeanour was revealed which proved to be far more politically damaging. Cecilia Stegö Chilò neglected to pay her television licence fee for the last 16 years, meaning that she has withheld at least 15,000 kronor from public service broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT).

The culture minister is responsible for the entire public service broadcasting sector, which includes SVT. Just five days before she became a member of the new cabinet Stegö Chilò’s husband registered television ownership for the first time.

Following the resignation of her ministerial colleague Maria Borelius on Saturday, the media focus shifted to Cecilia Stegö Chilò and Sunday’s leader writers almost unanimously called for her to quit.

On Monday she capitulated.

“Since it will not be possible to rectify the situation within a reasonable period of time I no longer see any possibility of repairing the damage I have caused the government,” she wrote.

The Local spoke to Stegö Chilò’s press secretary, Carl Johan Swanson.

“We have nothing to add to the statement,” he said.

The full statement in English