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Transparency needed to regain trust in apartment scandal

Published tisdag 19 januari 2016 kl 20.11
"It's all a question of trust"
(2:32 min)
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: EU-Commission / TT.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: EU-Commission / TT.

The Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute welcomed an investigation into whether bribes exchanged hands when Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström received a Stockholm rental apartment from a union. It also called for those involved to be completely transparent about what happened.

Prosecutors at Sweden's National Anti-Corruption Unit launched an investigation on Tuesday into whether Wallström's rental flat she received from the municipal workers' union Kommunal, which allowed her to bypassing a housing queue with a waiting period of several years, constituted a crime.

The Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute's Secretary General Helena Sundén said this case is a particularly sensitive one since it involves a high-ranking member of the government. She added that the investigation should help clear up any suspicious held by the public and others.

"I would say that it is a positive sign," Sundén told Radio Sweden about the inquiry. "I think it's very important that all the information comes [to light] and that the prosecutors, that are the ones entitled to the possibility to make a legal judgment, will look into the case."

Wallström herself also welcomed the news, telling news agency TT on Tuesday that "I have nothing to hide and it is good that this will get sorted out."

Sundén said even if no criminal wrongdoing is found the level of trust the public has in its government can be damaged. She added what needs to be done is for the government and the union to lay all their cards on the table regarding the affair.

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