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Bildt savages Danielsson

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10:17 CET+01:00
Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt has said that Göran Persson's former aide Lars Danielsson will not be given a senior diplomatic post, repeating his claim that the former state secretary lied to the Riksdag.

Danielsson, who was seconded to the Prime Minister's Office from the foreign ministry since 1994, returned to his old department after the Social Democrats were voted out of office in September.

Since then, Danielsson has applied for a number of ambassadorial posts, but Bildt told journalists in Brussels on Wednesday that he should not hold out much hope of being appointed.

"Personnel decisions are referred up to me when people are to be appointed as ambassadors or senior managers, and he has not been on any such lists," Bildt said.

"The chances that the cabinet secretary would make such a suggestion are not particularly high, given the public statements I have made," he added, claiming that his decision over Danielsson is one of honour and morality.

"One should serve the government regardless of party affiliation, but one may not lie to Parliament. Write that in capital letters and underline."

Asked whether he could name somebody who had name anyone who had proven that Danielsson lied to Parliament, Bildt replied:

"The Justice Ombudsman came as close as one can come."

Danielsson was heavily criticised by Justice Ombudsman Nils-Olof Berggren for giving inconsistent accounts of his actions following the tsunami catastrophe.

At issue was his claim to the official Catastrophe Commission inquiry that he made three telephone calls to foreign ministry official Hans Dahlgren during 26th December 2004.

Dahlgren says the calls never took place. At two further hearings Danielsson changed his account.

Berggren said the explanations given by Lars Danielsson about the telephone calls were "not convincing."

Danielsson said on Wednesday evening that he was not commenting publicly on the row, but planned to deal with his situation through internal procedures.

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