Ryanair settles with Persson and Freivalds

Budget airline Ryanair has settled a lawsuit out of court brought by Sweden's ex-prime minister Göran Persson after it used his picture in an advertisement without his consent, his lawyer said on Monday.

“They reached an agreement … to settle. The agreement is for two payments of €4,000 ($5,750), that is to say €8,000, to Mr. Persson and Mrs. (Laila) Freivalds,” the former foreign minister whose image was also used, their lawyer, Lennart Kanter, told AFP.

The Ryanair advertisement was published in the Swedish press in February 2006.

In a reference to a crisis of confidence that shook the Swedish government following the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster, and which continued throughout 2005, the Irish carrier published a photograph of Persson and Freivalds under the caption “Time to flee the country?”.

With €4,000 per person, the two political figures received half of what they had sought.

Both Persson and Freivalds will donate the money to undisclosed charities, Kanter said.