Freivalds makes millions from apartment

It was the apartment that forced her first resignation from high office, but former justice and foreign minister Laila Freivalds can comfort herself that her central Stockholm home has earned her a profit of nearly five million kronor.

Freivalds was forced to resign as justice minister in autumn 2000 when it became known that she had bought her rental apartment in Stockholm’s Kungsholmen district.

The Social Democrats have traditionally been hostile to the idea of tenants buying rental properties, which they usually purchase at below market prices, and as justice minister she had helped push through reforms that made such purchases more difficult.

Freivalds and her husband paid 2.2 million kronor for the four-bedroom apartment. According to Aftonbladet the apartment was bought on Friday for 7.1 million kronor. The buyers were reportedly a family with small children.

“I don’t want to comment on the sale price. We have decided not to make it public,” said Jonas Nilsson at real estate agency Erik Olsson.

The 126 square metre apartment sold for 56,349 kronor per square metre. Around 200 people came to the first viewing of the flat.

Freivalds timed the sale well, with prices having risen significantly since the end of 2005.

Laila Freivalds staged a political comeback after her resignation as justice minister, returning as foreign minister after Anna Lindh’s murder in 2003. She soon landed in hot water, being sharply criticised for her handling of the tsunami catastrophe of 2004, in which hundreds of Swedes died.

In spring 2006 she resigned after the Sweden Democrats’ site was closed down following contact from Foreign Ministry officials.