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Olofsson denies knowing of Vattenfall payouts

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Olofsson denies knowing of Vattenfall payouts
Sources claim Maud Olofsson knew of massive Vattenfall payouts
11:51 CEST+02:00
Minister for Energy and Centre party leader Maud Olofsson knew of the golden parachutes to Vattenfall bosses, several sources have revealed to Swedish media.

On Friday Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported that

Citing multiple anonymous sources, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reported on Friday that Olofsson demanded that previous Vattenfall chairman Lars Westerberg get rid of CEO Lars G Josefsson, which was settled with Josefsson leaving voluntarily with a massive severance package.

When the golden handshake of 12 million kronor ($1.9 million) became common knowledge, the government sacked Westerberg, who "backed up" the government's line, saying he had failed to inform them.

On Monday, Social Democrat Lars Johansson reported Olofsson to the Committee on the Constitution (Konstitutionsutskottet) as he claims to have a source that can verify Olofsson's knowledge of the deal.

Maud Olofsson is aware of the claims that she knew about the deals in advance, but, denies having had any knowledge of the payouts.

"Lars Westerberg can attest to that, he hasn't informed me of the German agreements or Lars G Josefsson's agreement," Olofsson told the TT news agency.

"This wasn't decided by me ahead of time, it's the board's job to follow the guidelines we set up."

She also urged the sources making claims that she knew about the deal to reveal themselves.

"They should come forward, those that make these claims," she said.

Olofsson claimed her conversations with Lars Westerberg regarding the shift in CEOs were limited to Josefsson retaining a transitional role until his retirement.

"It is patently absurd that I would have been prepared to give Josefsson an extra 12 million. He received a juicy pay cheque every month anyway, and had done for some time," she said to TT.

Social Democrat economic policy spokesperson Tommy Waidelich argued that prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had ultimate responsibility for dealing with the matter.

"This is also a question of the faith of the entire Swedish people that a specific minister should be sacked after a scandal like this," he told TT.

He urged the prime minister and the government to get to the bottom of the matter and provide an account of the truth.

But Fredrik Reinfeldt did not want to comment on the parachutes.

"Maud Olofsson have answered some of the questions. Peter Norman, in charge of state ownership, has answered others. I have seen a statement from the Committee on the Constitution which states that some of the questions will be dealt with there,"he said to TT.

Separately, Olofsson said she plans to continue as leader of the Centre Party, despite a growing tide of criticism from within the party about her leadership.

As long as she continues to enjoy the post and maintains the confidence of the party's members, she has no plans of stepping down, she told TT.

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