Reinfeldt’s wife takes post on newspaper board

Filipa Reinfeldt, a Moderate Party politician and wife of Sweden’s Prime Minister, has been named to the board of a minority owner in one of the country’s major daily newspapers.

Soon Reinfeldt will take up a position on the board of a foundation which has a partial ownership stake in Svenska Dagbladet, giving her indirect influence on the newspaper’s choice of editor-in-chief.

“But it doesn’t allow for some sort of undue influence. In part we have complete confidence in Filippa’s independence, and in part our importance for the newspapers operations is very limited,” said SvD foundation board chair Johan Gernandt to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The foundation, known as Stiftelsen Svenska Dagbladet, had a much larger ownership stake in SvD until the Norwegian publishing group Schibsted purchased roughly 60 percent of the newspaper nearly a decade ago.

But the foundation remains influential through its approximately minority ownership, and by maintaining two permanent slots on the company’s board, which has the responsibility over recruiting SvD’s editor-in-chief and political editor.

Nevertheless, Gernandt was quick to point out that the foundation’s influence pales in comparison to that of SvD’s primary owner and that the chances of the foundation getting involved in the paper’s editorial decisions was basically nonexistent.

Lars Nord, a media and communications professor at Mid University Sweden, didn’t see the appointment as overly troubling, but admitted that left him somewhat puzzled.

“In Sweden we have a long tradition of party-oriented press, do this really isn’t so remarkable,” he told DN.

“But ‘Svenskan’, like most players in the media, want to present themselves as independent. Therefore it’s a little strange when the prime minister’s wife gets this type of assignment.”


New blow for Håkan Juholt: survey

Social Democrat leader Håkan Juholt has taken another blow in the opinion polls, with a new survey revealing that he is further behind prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt than ever before.

New blow for Håkan Juholt: survey

The latest poll, carried out by analysts Skop, revealed that 83 percent of voters feel that current PM Reinfeldt is capable of leading the country, as opposed to only 17 percent prepared to entrust the post to Juholt.

“Confidence in Håkan Juholt’s capability is now at a historically low level. Never before has there been so few Swedes who think he has the ability to lead a government,” Skop analyst Bridget Hultaker told daily Expressen.

The Skop survey, which measured the opinions of 1,000 voters over the past month, revealed that only 52 percent of people who vote for the Social Democrats have faith in Juholt, as opposed to 48 percent preferring Reinfeldt, bringing him down to a similar low level of confidence that former leader Mona Sahlin experienced after losing the last general election.

Meanwhile his personality also came under attack.

When respondents were asked who they would like to be sat next to at a party, 43 percent answered Juholt, a drop of three percent from the last survey.

56 percent meanwhile, would prefer to be next to Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The poll comes in the wake of TV4’s coverage of a separate survey carried out by Novus, revealing that the majority of Social Democrat voters believe Juholt should resign.