Swedish MPs forced to reveal share holdings

All of Sweden's members of parliament are to be forced to disclose their financial assets and any paid work that they perform outside of their parliamentary duties. Shares held in foreign companies must also be declared.

The Moderates have previously opposed such a move, but now say that they will back a change in the law, reports Svenska Dagbladet.

That means that the seven main Swedish parties are now agreed on the need to introduce a compulsory register, instead of the voluntary public list that has existed since 1996.

Today, 250 of the 349 members of parliament have declared their financial interests on the register.

“100 members are missing, and that obviously creates suspicion that these 100 are trying to hide something. Do they have interests that they don’t want the voters to know about?” asked the Green Party’s Ulf Holm.

Lennart Hedquist of the Moderates confirmed that his party would now support the change, which was revealed in a memorandum from a parliamentary working group.

But he pointed out that the original plan for an independently maintained register had been rejected.

“That would be very expensive and bureaucratic, and the details would quickly become out of date. The members of parliament themselves must be able to maintain it easily. I don’t see any integrity problems with this,” Hedquist told Svenska Dagbladet.