Government won’t stop agencies Gotland move

Controversial plans to move two government agencies from Stockholm to Visby on the island of Gotland have been given the go-ahead by culture minister Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth, despite her own personal opposition to the move.

The National Heritage Board and exhibition agency Riksutställningar were tabled for a move to Gotland by the last government, as part of a programme to compensate regions hit by defence cuts. The decision was controversial, as many of those employed by the agencies scheduled to move were reluctant to follow their jobs to the other end of the country.

Adelsohn-Liljeroth has made clear on several occasions that she did not want to move either agency. However, decisions higher up in the government have forced her hand; the Centre Party, which strongly supports the decentralization of Sweden’s state apparatus, appears to have won the battle over the agencies.

“This is primarily a process initiated by the Social Democrats during their time in government,” Adelsohn-Liljeroth said in a statement.

“This process has now gone so far that there is a risk of damages if it were to be broken off. We rule as an alliance government, and that means you need to negotiate on certain issued. It is important that we ensure that the National Heritage Board and Riksutställningar don’t lose their competent staff and that they are able to work in peace,” she said.