Reinfeldt gives chairman job to Persson

Göran Persson, Sweden's former prime minister, has been made chairman of state-owned forestry company Sveaskog. Outgoing chairman Bo Dockered says Persson has been fixed up for the job by the current prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Reinfeldt gives chairman job to Persson

“The reason for this must have been that [the government] wanted to fix a job for Göran Persson,” said Dockered. He added that the issue had not been dealt with according to normal routines.

Persson himself refused to speak in detail about the circumstances of the job offer.

“I can only express my great respect for Bo,” and noted that he himself had appointed Dockered to the job.

“Continuity in an organization like this is naturally important. The first thing I will do, therefore, after speaking with the owners, is to sit down with the management and have a talk.”

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Reinfeldt said his predecessor “has shown interest in this position [and] has strong qualifications in the area.”

Reinfeldt added that a job profile had been drawn up at the start of the recruitment process, and Persson’s qualifications had been measured against the criteria. The prime minister denied that the government wanted to fix a job for Persson.

“My understanding, while not knowing everything about Göran Persson’s life, is that he does a great deal. This isn’t a job as such, but a chairmanship in a state-owned company of a kind that previous prime ministers have taken, such as Ingvar Carlsson and Thorbjörn Fälldin. This is nothing remarkable.”

While in opposition, the parties in the current government frequently criticized Persson’s government for appointing politicians to state jobs. Despite this, Industry Minister Maud Olofsson said that the government “cannot shut out politicians who are competent – rather, politics should also be seen as a qualification in this kind of role.”