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Juholt probed over rental payment scandal

TT/Clara Guibourg · 8 Oct 2011, 09:56

Published: 08 Oct 2011 09:56 GMT+02:00

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The National Anti-Corruption Unit (Riksenheten mot korruption) is now looking into the case, and will be investigating if Juholt's actions constitute fraud.

"I didn't know the rules," he said on Friday.

But Juholt was already informed about them this summer, according to the Riksdag Administration.

"I didn't know what the rules were, and I'm sorry about that," said Håkan Juholt to the large press gathering at the Social Democrats' headquarters on Friday.

Swedish MPs are reimbursed for their overnight accommodation in Stockholm if they hail from another part of the country. If the apartment is shared with another person, the Riksdag foots half the rent.

Juholt is registered in Oskarshamn, in southern Sweden, but has been pocketing full reimbursement for a four-room apartment in southern Stockholm - even though he shares it with his girlfriend.

"It never occurred to me that I could've been doing something wrong," said Juholt.

According to the paper Riksdag & Departement, the Riksdag Administration have calculated that Juholt has been given 320,532 kronor for his living costs, since February 2007. This would mean that Juholt owes roughly 160,000 kronor, for the half of the rent that his partner ought to have paid.

On Saturday, most opinion pieces in Swedish media seemed to buy Juholt's excuse that he was unaware of the rules, but many question his competence and reliability as a party leader.

"It may be human to err, but the whole business is very embarassing," wrote newspaper Borås Tidning, whose opinion page is Moderate-leaning, adding: "Everyone can make a mistake, but politicians on Juholt's level need to act differently and be more aware."

Juholt maintains that he hasn't withheld any information, or tried to hide anything.

"What keeps falling back to me is that I didn't know that rule."

But Riksdag Administration's department head Marianne Bjernbäck stated that she contacted one of Juholt's assistants as early as the end of July or the beginning of August, to ask if the Social Democrat head was to continue claiming reimbursements for the entire rent.

The Riksdag Administration had reacted upon hearing through the media that Juholt lived with his girlfriend, and wanted to ensure that the party leader was receiving the correct reimbursement.

Despite this, Juholt went on to claim reimbursement in the same way as before on 13 September.

Story continues below…

"Of course we don't reimburse anyone other than MPs," said Bjernbäck to news agency TT.

When previous Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin was discovered to have been careless with credit cards and her own economy in the 1990s, she took a time-out and missed the opportunity to become party leader for some time.

But female politicians are judged harsher than male, believes political scientist Jenny Madestam.

"Women and men are measured with different yardsticks, of course. I haven't kept track of all the drama surrounding Juholt, but if he has consciously tried to commit fraud, it's obviously a problem. Swedes dislike when those in power line their pockets. Confidence for Håkan Juholt may be shaken again," said Madestam to TT.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:32 October 8, 2011 by OUIJA
Honest, honest? Everybody. But honest, honest, honest?

Ignoring the law and its rules does not make you less honest, but sillier. Next Prime Minister???
11:00 October 8, 2011 by Lavaux
Socialist politicians like Juholt want unlimited power to regulate every aspect of our lives, but they can't be bothered to live by their own rules. Few Swedes take offense to this, preferring to be governed by unaccountable elites rather than take responsibility for their own lives. More than anything else about Sweden - the cold, the dark, the bleak joylessness - this attitude makes me yearn for home.

I say throw Juholt in prison first, then let him get probed.
12:12 October 8, 2011 by calebian22
LOL, Salin couldn't tell the difference between a business credit card and a private credit card. Juholt apparently doesn't understand Swedish well enough to comprehend the rules even when they are presented to him. So at best, the last two leaders of S are hopeless incompetants, liars or of course the obvious, both.
12:49 October 8, 2011 by Great Scott
This is nothing but a pathetic witch hunt, and fools believe it. One thing about Sweden is that its system of rules is very unclear to the majority of people, the governments (past and present) incompetence does leave many unclear loose ends. However 16,000kr is hardly anything to shout about compared to the millions or even billions the moderates are throwing to fraudulent companies working under the moderate's atrocious phase 3 program (a program that sends them into hiding when questioned about). Use some of your energy and focus on this, you really will get a shock, but I expect you will turn a blind eye.

It is childish the way the press uses pictures taken just to make a bad image.
12:52 October 8, 2011 by Indignerad
@Lavaux: Show me one single country without useless politicians. Just one. I'm waiting.
14:58 October 8, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ Indignerad


He may have been ripping off the taxpayers but at least he was working while he was doing it. Look at the political "ÚNemployees" in the news recently pocketing 6 figure paychecks for doing absolutely nothing, no work, NOTHING. This looks tame by comparison.
16:57 October 8, 2011 by Rishonim
Both Juholt and his chubby girlfriend are a pair of fraudters.

17:48 October 8, 2011 by Tysknaden
"Social democratic leader Håkan Juholt has spent years pocketing accommodation reimbursements he wasn't entitled to, amounting to a total of roughly 160,000 kronor ($23,500)."

The Local
19:10 October 8, 2011 by Båt-boy
Several politicians in the UK have recently served prison sentences for this type of fraud. If he is guilty, it will be interesting to see what happens??? However I am sure they will give him the benefit of the doubt, accepting his explanation and that will be that!!! Watch this space...
19:44 October 8, 2011 by RobinHood
The leaders of the Swedish Democrat Party on Saturday declined to participate in an upcoming debate to avoid having to stand next to Social Democrat party leader Håkan Juholt."

SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson said "This is the second consecutive Social Democrat leader to misunderstand what's his/her money with what belongs to the state. I don't want people to associate me and my party with that bunch of thieving shysters. It will ruin my reputation."
23:40 October 8, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Take a good look at Juholt.......the only things missing are the snout and the tail.
02:05 October 9, 2011 by Svensksmith
Looks like he's saying, "sh1t."
09:31 October 9, 2011 by HYBRED
Just another greedy, power hungry scumbag politician. Just out for himself and screw everyone else.
11:42 October 9, 2011 by Borilla
All pigs feeding at the same trough. How do you know a politician (of any persuasion - left, right or center)is lying? Their lips are moving.
14:38 October 9, 2011 by budaboy
What a waste of skin this scumbag,

"I didn't know the rules," he said on Friday.

But Juholt was already informed about them this summer, according to the Riksdag Administration.

"I didn't know what the rules were, and I'm sorry about that,"

"It never occurred to me that I could've been doing something wrong," said Juholt

"What keeps falling back to me is that I didn't know that rule."

Juholt maintains that he hasn't withheld any information, or tried to hide anything.

Any given Swede that "forgets" to pay his taxes in the amount of 160,000 kronor will guaranteed do time in jail...
18:10 October 9, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Interesting concept of deducting a portion of the rent for someone staying with you. So, if a politician has his parents visit stockholm for the weekend and stay in his flat, is he required to deduct a portion of his rent? How about if has visitation with his child... does he have to deduct for that as well?

It would make more sense to standardize a fair living reimbursement for the second home in Stockholm, etc., and then let the politician deal with his personal life and standard of housing as he sees fit!!!
22:04 October 9, 2011 by OUIJA
In Iraq they are missing the presence of Saddam Hussen.

In Sweden, Social Democrats are missing Mona Sahlin.

Both of them are no good, but at least Mona bought Toblerones and did not pay some parking tickets. Juholt is proving to be of the same caliber and worse, but not wiser than Mona. Mona paid hard for her wrongdoings. What about Juholt?

Do not forget to read Chapter III of the SD soap opera.
01:06 November 20, 2011 by jacksonjerry
Swedes say that Swedes don't lie or cheat.. and the reality???
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