Defence Minister’s Taxi Journeys

Swedish Radio News has reported that since the beginning of 2005, new Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg, has had parliament pay for more than 200 taxi trips from his apartment.

Odenberg’s residence is only a couple of hundred meters from a central Stockholm subway station, and from there it only takes 6 minutes to get to Stockholm’s Old Town, where parliament is located. According to parliament’s rules, MPs should always choose the cheapest method of travel, unless there are special reasons, such as carrying baggage needed for work, the need to travel with others, or medical reasons.

Odenberg has sent a message through his press secretary that he has followed the rules. According to press reports, since he became Defence Minister last month, Odenberg’s taxi travel has come to an end. Nowadays, he says, he either drives his own car or is driven in a government car.

The police, he says, will not allow him to use public transportation.