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Crisis can lead to pressure which could inturn force Hakan Juholt to resign

Saturday, 08 October 2011
Pressures one must avoid in a clean society like Sweden understand how to make claims and it you are qualified for it. Now, new information has emerged that the leader of Swedish Social Democrat party, Hakan Juholt, had been informed since 2009 about the irregularities in his housing benefit claims.

The implication of this is that if Hakan Juholt had really been made aware that he had claimed twice as much benefit as he was supposed to claim, then he is in a real crisis that can lead to his resignation from his top job.

A crisis that could lead to his resignation, according Jonas Hinnfors, a professor at Gothenburg University who researches on Social Democracy, report Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter.


The Social Democrat Party leader, Hakan Juholt, has been criticized for taking out full housing benefits for their apartment even though he shares it with his partner. In little over four years, he has received a total of Skr320,000 in benefits from the taxpayers.

So far, one can say that he has followed the rulebook. He has admitted that he made a mistake, he's not blaming anyone else and he has done the right thing. Thus, it has been very good, according to the professor to Dagens Nyheter.

But this whole episode can lead to the resignation of the Social Democrat leader because according to the tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet, which first exposed the matter, top sources in the party, says he was warned of fraud in 2009.

Aftonbladet continues to argue that Hakan Juholt was warned about his irregular payments already in spring 2009. Then it was Juholt’s acting party secretary and a form of internal audit that was done when he would have resigned in favour of Ibrahim Baylan, former Secretary General of the party.

For now though, in principle, one can say that if the erroneous payments made was due to the screw—up and he was not aware as he says - then it's no problem. But if it lasted for two years and people still remember about - then it becomes real crisis.

According to Dagens Nyheter, they have been in contact with Hakan Juholt press secretary, Sophie Rudh, but she says that "there will be no comment.”

The view according to professor Jonas Hinnfors is that “One should be careful not to make a mountain out of a spring. They are totally inundated with phone calls after call such that it is not physically possible to answer all questions. But if it should prove that there is a wild crisis behind the scenes - that Juholt and other knew about this for years - then it is of course extremely serious.”

Sweden has zero tolerance to fraud and there is fear that Julholt’s situation is precarious. To generate pressure this way, on housing benefits is not ideal for a future leader in the country that wants to be slick clean.
By Team

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