Håkan Juholt exhibits either greed or ignorance (or possibly both)

Håkan Juholt, the relatively new leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, is in deep trouble.

He became leader of the party following an old fashioned “coup” in March this year  – reminiscent of a Soviet style of leadership change which did not bode well for the “renewal” of the party.

S-ledaren Håkan Juholt försäkrade vid fredagsförmiddagens presskonferens att han inte avsiktligt brutit mot reglerna när det gäller hyresbidrag från riksdagen.

Håkan Juholt: FOTO SCANPIX via SvD

 

It now seems that back in 2007 he moved into his girl-friend’s apartment in Stockholm and since then has been claiming the entire rental of the apartment as his “temporary” residence in the capital. Apparently he should not have been claiming more than half the rental. (By the rules, if he had evicted his girl-friend and was the sole occupant he would have been perfectly entitled to his claim!).

In any event his exaggerated claims have totalled some 160,000 kronor (about $23,000) that he was not entitled to. Yesterday he called a press conference and apologised excusing his behaviour on “not being aware of the rules”. He paid back the money yesterday. His acknowledgement of his “ignorance of the rules” is being received with some incredulity since an “internal audit” within the Social Democrats had apparently identified the problem back in 2009. The Parliamentary Finance Office pointed out the non-compliance a month ago when Juholt applied for an increase in his compensation because the rent had increased. That he kept silent for a month and only decided to apologise and pay the money back after the Aftonbladet newspaper had revealed the scandal has not added to his crediblity.

The extra payment he claimed has amounted to about 3,500 kronor per month and considering that his monthly salary is 144,000 kronor (about $21,000), the impression he has created is one of a greedy little man looking for every kronor he can squeeze out of the system.

Of course he is not the first – and is certainly not the last – Swedish politician caught with his hand in the till. Many have distinguished themselves by jumping housing queues and “purchasing” rental accommodation with very lucrative results. Swedish politicians are also known – both at the national and at the local level – for blatantly arranging the rules to ensure their financial well-being even after they have left office. Their defence thereafter has always been that they are “just following the rules” but they don’t usually mention that they made the rules themselves.

Swedish politicians like most of their European counterparts are extremely moralistic about the behaviour of others but are remarkably hypocritical when it comes to their own behaviour. Their own sense of ethics leaves a lot to be desired.

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3 Responses to “Håkan Juholt exhibits either greed or ignorance (or possibly both)”

  1. SOLIDARITETSTANKEN – ANGÅENDE JUHOLTAFFÄREN « SOLIDARITETSTANKEN Says:

    […] Håkan Juholt exhibits either greed or ignorance (or possibly both) (ktwop.wordpress.com) Rate this: DELA DETTATwitterFacebookMerStumbleUponRedditLinkedInDiggE-postSkriv utLike this:GillaBli först att gilla denna post. […]

  2. SOLIDARITETSTANKEN via ETT HJÄRTA RÖTT – Politiska olagligheter, misstag, mutor och bedrägerier « SOLIDARITETSTANKEN Says:

    […] Håkan Juholt exhibits either greed or ignorance (or possibly both) (ktwop.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Swedish Social Democrats commit suicide as they destroy their own leader « The k2p blog Says:

    […] and nor have I been very impressed by his performance to date. But the current media storm over his “failings” (excessive housing and travel expense claims, vacillation on immigration and citizenship and […]

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