EU Opposed to Swedish Press Subsidy

Swedish newspapers might receive less money from the state in the future. The EU Commission has criticized the Swedish system of press subsidies for certain newspapers for contributing to what it calls a distortion of competition. In a written statement, EU Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, called on the Swedish government to change the current system voluntarily, otherwise the commission would launch an investigation into the matter.

The Swedish press subsidy was introduced in 1971 to increase the variety of newspapers throughout the country. Generally, the second largest newspaper in every region benefits from the subsidy. But according to commissioner Kroes, the current system especially benefits large dailies like Svenska Dagbladet in Stockholm and Sydsvenska Dagbladet in the Malmö area. This would infringe upon the rules of fair competition, Kroes maintained. (ah)