The Corner

It’s Not Just GOP Scandals

Sweden’s new center-right government is coming in for a battering as the generally leftish Swedish media get to work in the wake of the Socialist defeat. Here’s the toll so far:

(1) The new trade minister has resigned. Like many Swedes she didn’t pay the mandatory (and disgraceful) annual licence fee imposed to fund the country’s left-of-center public television. Also ‘guilty’ of nifty (and legal) tax planning.

(2) The new minister of culture and sports (never a good sign when a country has one of those) has resigned. She didn’t pay the TV tax either.

(3) The new minister of migration didn’t pay the TV tax either. He’d always said he was opposed to it, and reportedly claimed never to watch public TV. He’s thought to be on the way out.

(4) The new minister of finance may be running into nanny tax problems.

In the end, this will likely blow over, but for now it means some tough times for the new prime minister (all the ministers in question come from his part of the new coalition), and, at least in terms of image, it will hurt his attempt at a David Cameron-like repositioning of the Conservative party (the unfortunately-named Moderates) closer to the political center. Given where the ‘center’ is in Sweden, you might think that may be no bad thing…

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