Lars Danielsson appointed as Hong Kong consul

The government has appointed former under-Secretary of State to Göran Persson, Lars Danielsson, as Sweden's consul-general to Hong Kong and Macau. The Social Democrats have accused foreign minister Carl Bildt of engaging in a personal vendetta.

Lars Danielsson appointed as Hong Kong consul

Danielsson will take over the post from October 2008.

Danielsson became known countrywide in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami catastrophe in December 2004. As foreign policy advisor to former prime minister Göran Persson, Danielsson was roundly criticised for his role in the then government’s management of the disaster.

Danielsson was forced to resign his post following criticism from the Parliamentary Ombudsman (JO) after having submitted contradictory information to the commission of inquiry set up to look into the handling of the disaster.

Since the end of 2006 Danielsson has been employed as an ambassador without portfolio at the foreign office.

Lars Danielsson has applied for 17 different posts since the change in government in September 2006.

The opposition Social Democrats have criticised the long delay in finding a suitable position for Danielsson, widely accepted as a highly capable diplomat, and today accused foreign minister Carl Bildt of using the office of the foreign ministry to conduct a personal political vendetta.

“It is difficult to interpret this as anything else than the country’s foreign minister has been engaged in a personal vendetta. I don’t actually know, but the intensity and duration of the treatment that Danielsson has experienced leads one to draw that conclusion,” said Social Democrat party secretary Marita Ulvskog.

“It is a very dangerous situation when the serving foreign minister acts in such a way so as to risk that the office of the foreign ministry becomes very party political…It is therefore important that a decision has finally been reached over Danielsson.”

TT has sought Lars Danielsson and Carl Bildt for a comment but both have declined the opportunity. Acting foreign minister Göran Hägglund said in a press briefing over the appointment:

“There is no doubt that Lars Danielsson is an outstanding diplomat. In this case he showed that he was the best candidate for the position,” Hägglund said.