• Sweden's news in English

Sweden Democrat lived off benefits

The Local · 20 Dec 2012, 07:36

Published: 20 Dec 2012 07:36 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Swedish authorities said in 1997 that Johnny Skalin, who is now 34, was suffering from a mental disorder that prevented him from carrying out his duties in a hotdog stand where he was employed at the time.

It was then that he began receiving disability benefits, local newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning wrote.

Ten years later, he told the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) that he suffered from extreme tiredness and needed up to two days of rest after working a four-hour shift.

However, that same year he became the head of the Sweden Democrat local chapter in the northeastern town of Sundsvall. "It was naturally a lot of work," Skalin told the same newspaper.

Skalin also began to study sociology, and went on to co-author a party platform that helped the Sweden Democrats get into parliament in the 2010 election, when it got 5.7 percent of the vote and won 20 seats in the Swedish Riksdag.

Two months into the job as an MP, he told authorities that he no longer needed any benefits for his mental disability.

"If I used the system in any way, it's because I had a reason to do so. I shouldn't have to defend it," Skalin told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

Party spokesperson Martin Kinnunen leapt to his defence, and accused media of "quite strange" behaviour for reporting on a private health matter.

The party's website states that the 10 percent employment gap between Swedish immigrants and ethnic Swedes is "a great cost and a burden on society."

Story continues below…

A recent poll by Statistics Sweden put the party's support at around 8 percent. The boost comes amid a spate of layoffs in Swedish industry, as the country feels the effects of the European debt crisis.

AFP/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:03 December 20, 2012 by findlaw2000
Seemingly with split personality ! Absolutely ridiculous !
12:55 December 20, 2012 by johan rebel
Many, if not most, Swedish politicians have not done a single honest day's work in their entire life. Instead of finishing high school or getting a degree they join a parrty youth league and blather and elbow their way into a position of power, from which they as often as not retire early at the taxpayers' expense.
13:36 December 20, 2012 by engagebrain
"If I used the system in any way, it's because I had a reason to do so. I shouldn't have to defend it,"

Skalin told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet

Exactly what every idle dosser would say.

Too tired to work but not too tired to organise his political party - seems like he defrauded all the honest tax payers.
14:46 December 20, 2012 by fareasttiger
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:19 December 20, 2012 by engagebrain
fareasttiger - the article suggests that the lad claimed not to be able to work because of a rather tenuous disability, a disabilty that cleared up once his hard work had paid off and he was a member of parliament.

He is perfectly entitled to complain about anything, but to complain about people ripping of the benefits system when he appears to have been exploting the system is hypocracy. I guess if/when he looses his status as an MP it will be back to benefits.
15:20 December 20, 2012 by Svensksmith
Look up hypocrite in the dictionary. This clown's picture should be there.
16:33 December 20, 2012 by fareasttiger
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

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