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Gotland Governor in Hot Water

Published onsdag 29 juli 2009 kl 16.03
County Governor Marianne Samuelsson

Gotland County Governor Marianne Samuelsson has been caught on tape saying that businessmen should be given special treatment when it comes to planning laws, in order to make them stay on the island.

During a routine check last year, county officials on the Island of Gotland off the eastern coast of Sweden found that local magnate Max Hansson had increased his estate tenfold over the last 30 years within a protected area on the coast. This came as a surprise and after checking, it turned out that Hansson did not have a permit to cover his expansion.

After a year of deliberation, the County Governor Marianne Samuelsson decided to go against the advice of her own experts and grant a further permit for expansion. In interview with local radio on July 20, Samuelsson claimed that the motivation was that the expansion was partly for agricultural use and did not affect the public right of way. A decision that has now led to major discussions in the media.

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