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Ex-minister pens his way to holiday travel fame

Rebecca Martin · 16 Aug 2011, 09:54

Published: 16 Aug 2011 09:54 GMT+02:00

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“It was a long and very well-written account,” said the head of information Magdalena Öhrn to The Local on Monday afternoon.

In January, Swedish travel agency Ving announced the competition, where contestants were to send in a written account of their dream holiday.

During the spring the winner was picked and his essay, a tour of the Middle East, was published on Ving's home page.

"Take out your binoculars and have a look around. Can you find Sodom and Gomorrah? The two towns with the terrible reputation disappeared in biblical times, but the remains are rumoured to be left in the desert," Littorin wrote in his essay.

However, although Öhrn could confirm that a person called Sven-Otto Littorin had won first prize, she could not confirm that it was indeed the former minister.

“It could be the ex-minister, but I can’ say for sure as we’ve have only had mail contact with the winner,” said Öhrn.

She pointed out that if the winner is the former minister he is in his full rights to enter the competition as a general member of the public.

“And if it is him, it makes it extra fun,” she said to The Local.

According to publicly available Swedish population registers, there is only one Sven-Otto Littorin in Sweden - the former minister for employment - who abondoned his post in July 2010 in the wake of allegations he had paid for sex.

It was not the first time Littorin was in the hot seat. In 2007 a Swedish web magazine questioned whether his diploma from Fairfax University in the US could be academically recognized. Littorin later removed the diploma from his CV.

The winner of the competition received 15,000 kronor ($2,330) in travel vouchers to be used at Ving.

Though Ving can't confirm that it is the former minister who is the lucky winner it would be impossible for an impostor to claim the prize-money under an assumed name, according to Öhrn.

“For a winner that would be very difficult as you have to prove your identity by providing your personal number and proof of address to claim your prize,” she said.

Story continues below…

Despite Littorin’s name being well known in Sweden, not in the least due to last year's scandal, Öhrn doesn’t think this has anything to do with his account being chosen as the winner.

“It was a long and well-written account and we simply thought it was the best one,” she said.

The Local’s attempts to reach Sven-Otto Littorin have so far been unsuccessful and according to other Swedish media accounts he may be out of the country - possibly on holiday - at present.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:48 August 16, 2011 by Garry Jones
> Though Ving can't confirm that it is the former minister

Strange that Ving don't know about the Swedish site www.upplysning.se - There you can plainly see that there is just one person by that name in Sweden.

Sven Otto Julius Littorin


Regeringsgatan xxxxxx

111 39 Stockholm

I removed the exact address and the exact personnummer when I pasted. As he was born between 1948 and 1992 you can also deduce* (from the 20) that he was born in the county of Östergötland.

As Ving would probably have had to trace people in the past you would have thought they would have known about this "tell-all" public site.

* Explanation of persnummer at http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personnummer_i_Sverige
11:55 August 16, 2011 by Grokh
The story falls at "dream holiday in the middle east" unless that dream include equality and no religious fanaticism or theocracies then maybe one would consider, but the way things are i wouldnt set foot in the region even if someone paid me.
12:36 August 16, 2011 by gh2008
i was born there and my dream is i never set foot in that place again!
12:56 August 16, 2011 by Garry Jones
> dream holiday in the middle east

Could be a comedy?

Something along the lines of "Chatty Swedish stranger", "The Late German" or "The London train that arrived on time".
13:08 August 16, 2011 by conboy
He should write a fantasy story about how a government labour minister does his job properly.
15:08 August 16, 2011 by Svensksmith
Second prize: Two dream holidays in the Middle East.
17:18 August 16, 2011 by Migga
Dream holiday in the Middle East. Yeah, it was just that. A dream.
20:36 August 17, 2011 by Thoddyt
Given his past, I'm surprised he didn't pen a description of a dream holiday in the fleshpots of Bangkok... maybe he was thinking of getting 72 Virgins...
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