Reinfeldt denies offering trade job

Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has denied that he has asked veteran Moderate politician Ulf Dinkelspiel to be Sweden's new trade minister.

“I have not yet asked anyone and I am not ready to do so. I look forward to presenting this at the beginning of next week,” he told Swedish Radio, which had earlier reported that Dinkenspiel had been given the job.

“I can only say that I was surprised, but I’m sure that is nothing compared to how surprised Ulf Dinkenspiel must have been,” Reinfeldt said.

Dinekspiel was minister for trade and Europe in Carl Bildt’s centre-right government in the early 1990s, in which he played a leading role in Sweden’s application to enter the European Union.

If 67-year old Dinkenspiel were to become trade minister, he would be seen as a safe pair of hands following the resignation of the inexperienced Maria Borelius over her cash payments to domestic staff and other questions over her personal financial arrangements.

Dinkenspiel sits on the boards of a number of Swedish companies and organizations. He received his first job in politics under the centre-right government of 1976-82, in which he served as state secretary at the trade department.

Unlike Borelius and her erstwhile ministerial colleagues Cecilia Stegö Chilò and Tobias Billström, Dinkenspiel won’t be caught out for non-payment of his television licence. According to the television licensing authority, his wife pays the fee for their apartment in Stockholm’s Östermalm district.