• Sweden's news in English

Swedish MPs take Disneyland 'study' tour

TT/The Local · 18 Mar 2010, 11:26

Published: 18 Mar 2010 11:26 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In general, regulations for how MPs can dispose of their allotted funds have been interpreted generously, a review by the Expressen tabloid has shown.

Other approved excursions have included a trip to the Faroe islands to experience "how it is to live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic", ten days in Canada to "study the situation of youth in a broader perspective", and a trip to the Caribbean to "study Cuban environmental policy".

"Some of these travel itineraries would appear to be a little far-fetched," said Gullan Gidlund, a professor of political science at Örebro University to the newspaper.

Social Democrat MPs Hans Stenberg and Claes-Göran Brandin are members of the parliamentary transport and communications committee. Their party colleague Krister Örnfjäder is a substitute on the same committee and is also a member of the industry and trade committee.

The trio spent a day together at Disney's Los Angeles theme park as part of an expenses paid trip to California to study "communications, energy, the environment and the tourism industry."

Party colleague Benny Gustafsson headed to the Faroe Islands to try out life on the Atlantic island, while Moderate Party MP Mats Gerdau, who is on the education committee, travelled to North America to check on Canadian youth. Green party MP Jan Lindholm, a member of the civil affairs committee, spent part of his study budget looking at Cuban environment policy.

According to the Expressen review, eight MPs have already exhausted their 50,000 kronor study budget for 2010, 20 have less than 10,000 kronor remaining and around 70 have submitted applications for trips planned during the year.

Study allowance applications are submitted by MP's for approval to the three vice-speakers of the house. The MPs are not required to account in detail for their trips until they have returned to Sweden.

Story continues below…

The regulations stipulate that MPs must spend at least six hours per day engaged in study.

"I can not recall any case where an MP has received a straight refusal," vice-speaker and Social Democrat Jan Björkman told Expressen.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:50 March 18, 2010 by Nemesis
If a politician does not use there allowances to benefit the country, they should be tried for fraud.
14:56 March 18, 2010 by Sjayna
Its alarming if there is a real need to put our taxes on this kind of stupid study trips...and it raise the question if some of these persons are adequate enought to work as politicians...
15:43 March 18, 2010 by jhk
given the three went together, and that there are valid reasons for a politician to be interested in part of the economy (tourism), why shouldn't they go to see how Disneyland markets itself. If they hadn't gone they could be accused of not being willing to learn from others. Or maybe they should have gone somewhere not so successful (and fun). They went to look at the best.

Faero island....good study of an isolated community just like some of those up north, again maybe Sweden can learn from others. If he had gone to Cyprus, maybe criticism would be justified, but the Faero island, it's hardly Las Vegas !

Are there any study trips worthwhile, can Sweden learn from others without traveling there ?

This is the swedish press trying to do the same as the UK press, and are scratching for anything.
18:29 March 18, 2010 by tigger007
your swedish tax kronor at work! this is a crock of BS.
18:46 March 18, 2010 by Sjayna
'...can Sweden learn from others without traveling there?' It seems not, they are like children, who need concrete experiences etc to learn abstract things ...
19:56 March 18, 2010 by sissygirl
What will they learn at Disneyland? "communications, energy, the environment and the tourism industry."

It was only a day. I doubt they spent the entire annual allowance. I won't try to justify the trip, but I think the media found something to stir up the masses. Doesn't appear to have worked. This only the 6th comment on this article.
00:44 March 19, 2010 by diegoveggie
i love the idea of socialists going to disneyland. hahahahha.. and that's on us, taxpayers....
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available