Diplomats don't pay their parking tickets
Diplomats in Stockholm have accrued close to 600 parking tickets in the first six months of 2012, and they are refusing to pay, reports Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. The worst offenders are staff from the Chinese, Russian and Ukrainian embassies.
"It shouldn't be so difficult. You just have to follow the laws and rules. If you park in the wrong place you should also pay your parking ticket. It's the same for everyone," Anne, a parking officer, told Svenska Dagbladet.
Each month the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs receives information from the Transportation Authority about which embassies have unpaid parking tickets. The MFA contacts the embassies that do not follow Swedish laws, but they cannot force them to pay because of diplomatic immunity.
Local lawmakers in Stockholm are now calling for a change in legislation that would make it harder for the embassies to avoid paying their tickets.
"It seems like some embassies have turned this into a system. The municipalities should have increased authority to tow or put a boot on diplomatic cars," says Per Ankersjö, a councilman in Stockholm with the Center Party.