Dodgy booze bill leads to Swedish lobbyist probe
TT/Clara Guibourg · 27 Dec 2011, 11:22
Published: 27 Dec 2011 11:22 GMT+01:00
A review of entertainment bills from West Sweden revealed the organization, which works to attract EU funding to dozens of municipalities in western Sweden, regularly accounted for its hefty liquor bills through its subsidiary in the European Union capital, according to Svergies Radio (SR).
West Sweden's board has now facing an internal probe launched by at the behes of incoming board chair, Social Democrat Robert Hammarstrand
One one occasion, 13 politicians and bosses convened and together drank 11 bottles of wine, and 17 large beers, according to SR's review of West Sweden's entertainment bills.
The 6,000 kronor ($880) bill didn't strike CEO Kjell Peterson as remarkable.
"We don't have any such limitations. They can drink wine if they want," said Peterson to SR.
Despite this claim, West Sweden repeatedly chose to divide their bills for board meetings.
Food and living costs were neatly organized in binders at the firm's Gothenburg office.
Liquor bills, however, were recorded in Brussels, hidden in West Sweden's subsidiary.
Incoming chair Hammarstrand emphasized the need to review the organization's practices.
"The needs of our different members varies quite a bit when it comes to West Sweden's activities. And West Sweden has been around since 1992, so it's natural to make this review. A lot has changed since then," he told SR.
West Sweden works as western Sweden's link to Brussels, and roughly 70 municipalities in the area pay for the organisation in hopes it will succeed in securing EU funding for the region.
In the last ten years, West Sweden has been funded with roughly 150 million kronor in public money, reported SR.