• Sweden's news in English

'Cab controversy' colours Green leadership battle

TT/Rebecca Martin · 20 May 2011, 11:19

Published: 20 May 2011 11:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“There have been many late nights during budget discussions and I have also had to make sure I have been on time to vote in parliament,” Valtersson explained to daily Aftonbladet.

Valtersson was left defending her taste for taxis after the paper revealed that she has spent 17,728 kronor ($ 2,842) on cab rides, rather than using a less expensive and more climate-friendly commuter rain, even though she lives just 300 metres from the train station.

According to Aftonbladet, Valtersson would have saved 500 kronor on each of the 43 taxi journeys she took since October 2010, as well as cutting half an hour off her journey if she chose the train.

Valtersson, however, claims that there are many reasons why she has chose to travel by cab.

“There have been so many instances when trains haven’t been running that there really hasn’t been any other alternative," Valtersson told Aftonbladet.

Valtersson, who has served as the Green's economic policy spokesperson, has long been considered a candidate to take over as one of the Green Party's spokespeople following the impending departure of Maria Wetterstrand and Peter Eriksson, who have shared the de facto leadership role since 2002.

The Greens traditionally have one male and one female spokesperson serve in a party leadership role. And while MP Gustav Fridolin is the natural male candidate, it remains uncertain which woman may succeed Wetterstrand.

“Within the Green party there is a certain anti-authoritarian outlook which means that it isn’t always experience, which of course I have more of, which will be the deciding factor,” Valtersson told news agency TT.

Valtersson had been dubbed the favourite and was a clear candidate for the position. An MP since 2002, she is the party’s economic policy spokeswoman and has experience in many political areas.

But the nominating committee chose a rookie as their candidate, environmental scientist Åsa Romsson, who has only been an MP since 2010.

Romson has been described as more of a grass-roots candidate with a more environmental profile.

“I think that it is of great advantage to me that I have shown myself to believe politics a commission of trust only to be carried out during a short period of your life,“ Romson told TT.

Both women believe that the party must broaden its political scope. But where Romson is passionate about social policy, Valtersson concentrates more on employment.

According to TT, Romson thinks that it is yet too early to say which parties the Greens should consider as their political allies in the next election.

Story continues below…

“But I find it hard to believe that we would be ready to support a prime minister from the Moderate party,” she told TT.

Valtersson, on the other hand, does not completely close the door on a co-operation with the government parties. A further alliance with the Left Party, however, is not on the cards if Valtersson has anything to say about it.

“I think that we should develop Green policies and go to election independently, “ she told TT.

The Greens will announce their new spokespeople after the vote on Saturday.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:18 May 20, 2011 by expatinsweden
The tree huggers are the worst hypocrites ever. These guys are in it just to exploit the air waves and get draw attention to themselves. Al Gore's house is an energy sink. What irriates me most is the shameless requests to reuse towels in almost all hotel rooms. Do they assume we are all idiots who can't see past these fake concerns for the environment, when all they are really bothered about is their bottom lines? If they were really concerned they should offer financial incentives to do so. I haven't seen any hotel or green put his/her money where his/her mouth is.
12:23 May 20, 2011 by Rick Methven
"rather than using a less expensive and more climate-friendly commuter rain,"

Well we can forgive her if it was raining

proof reading please TL
14:39 May 20, 2011 by planet.sweden
Clearly Mikaela Valtersson's heart isn't in the right place and the Green's should drop her. She neither understands green issues nor the importance of being cost efficient.

But the EU is full of politicians who think the normal rules apply to everyone else but not themselves. It starts with people like Valtersson and ends with criminals like Labour's serial expense crooks in the UK, the strasbourg EU gravy train, and of course the likes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Zero tolerance of corruption should be the mantra and as such Valtersson should be jettisoned before she moves onto bigger things.
14:40 May 20, 2011 by engagebrain

quite clearly not washing unused towels saves energy, and is good for a hotel's bottom line - a worthwhile policy and economically sensible - what is there to complan about ?

Similary an individual's hypocracy does not invalidate the ecological and climate change arguments.
15:28 May 20, 2011 by MarshaLynn
It is quite common here in the USA that those who push the Green environmental ideology do not practice it themselves. They are politicians and Hollywood stars. They jet around the world, and around the USA in their own private jets. They drive SUVs. They have huge energy-guzzling mansions. Check out the truth about Al Gore's lifestyle. There is a great deal of science indicating that while it is a good idea to be good stewards of the environment (no one would argue with that), we are not actually in a global meltdown that will soon cause the oceans to overtake the land and all that rot. It just is not so. Excessive environmentalism is actually a substitute for religion, because liberals are largely irreligious, agnostic, etc. So they fill that void with obsessive environmentalism, and they fail to heed when they hear evidence to the contrary. Plus, obsessive concern about the environment is a potential money-making machine for people like Al Gore.
15:49 May 20, 2011 by uunbeliever
What happened to the Ches and Napoleans? Just hang 'em all and start over. This is as bad as the minister of culture not ever paying radiotjanst or Göran Persson "alla ska med" changing retirement rules for his wife or...
17:21 May 20, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
You have to admit she has tremendous leadership potential if she is so set on getting to her destination as quickly as possible (Lol)

Wasn't the Speaker of the Irish Dail (parliament) forced to resign after just such an issue as this?
21:59 May 20, 2011 by expatinsweden
@engagebrain. I would rest my case if the hotels mentioned their self interest and / or gave an economic incentive. The current positioning is a tasteless jab at paying client's guilt.

When no clear evidence exists and when the high priests don't practise, the theories on climate change become harder to believe.
09:39 May 21, 2011 by zooeden
I pay taxes and she can take as many taxis as she fripping wants, Boo!!!

and this is swedish news???
12:40 May 21, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Her mistake was to take yellow cabs instead of green ones. Black ball to another hypocrit Swedish politician.
14:45 May 21, 2011 by wenddiver
My cousin in California is an enviromentalist and lives in a 9 bedroom house and bougnht her husband a Lambrogini, LOL. She would probably wonder how your politician gets all her shopping bags in a little taxi. Many US Enviromentalists use it to distarct from their own lifestyles.

She loves to lecture me, because I ussually rent whatever the Largest FORD or LINCOLN SUV is available, because they are super reliable and I need the space to haul business associates. God I miss the old FORD Excursion. Real life I think we are saving gas and emmission, by all six of us piling into one vehicle than if each of us took our own Lincoln Town Car or Mercedes, and it is more fun to ride together . My driver doesn't drink, so it also keeps 6 drunks off the road.

My point?? The Lady probably has a legitimate reason to take the cab like carrying boxes of business items. Besides I hate public transportation.

Don't be so quick to judgement, If there was no automobiles I would drive my Kawasaki Ninja, XL-6, so I still wouldn't save a lot of gas.
17:44 May 22, 2011 by cogito
"They are politicians and Hollywood stars. They jet around the world..." MarshaLynn

Like President "Clean Energy" Obama, who used Air Force One to fly from Washington to New York for date night. And a separate airplane for their dog when the family fly to their vacation resort.
Today's headlines
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.

How to make autumnal Swedish apple cake
Photo: SwedishFood.com

This tasty cake is an autumn staple in Swedish cafés. Why not make it yourself!

Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Cannabis worth millions seized at Swedish port
A file photo of a Swedish police cannabis find not related to the story. Photo: Polisen

The 300kg haul was found by in a truck which drove off a ferry in Karlskrona.

Roll over Volvo: there’s a new Swedish car in town
Photo: Björn Olsson

Car developers in Gothenburg have given Volvo a new sibling.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
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'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
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
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available