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Trouble for new Swedish government

by Laurent GUERBY Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 10:00:30 AM EST

According to The Local:


Swedish trade minister resigns
Published: 14th October 2006 13:20 CET

Sweden's trade minister Maria Borelius has resigned, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has announced.

Speaking on Swedish Radio's Saturday interview, Reinfeldt revealed that he had spoken to Borelius on Saturday morning.
"We have agreed that she should resign," said the prime minister.

Borelius has also quit as a member of parliament for the Moderates. She explained her decision in a press release:

"The reason is the pressure that has been put on those closest to me. My family, my friends, my neighbours and their children, business associates, relatives, even my children's friends, have been put under close scrutiny which means that normal family life has become impossible," she wrote.

Borelius had been in the job for just a week. But in that time she was hounded by the Swedish media.

First, it was revealed that she had not paid employer's tax for a nanny in the 90s. Then her failure to buy a TV licence was seized upon.

The final straw came on Friday when irregularities in a share trade were exposed, along with the fact that her homes are owned by a company based in the tax haven of Jersey.
[...]

And they haven't privatized anything yet. What's the temperature in the local medias?

Note that I hope sometimes in the future such scandals (which are commonplace) in my country will also lead to such acts.


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Well she had to go. She was crooked, though nothing compared to certain French politicans (or Swedish socialists for that matter) who just stay in power.

The whole media storm is really not about Borelius but about the minister of Culture, a certain Cecilia Stegö Chilò. She is a raging neoliberal and will hopefully assault the leftist cultural marxists in the Swedish culture sector with a chainsaw. As the media and the culture sector are communicating vessels in Sweden, all our commie journalists (which is the majority of them) are scared shitless and are trying to bring her down. Happily they seem to be failing as Borelius has had the effect of a media storm lightning conductor, absorbing everything thrown at her or the minster of Culture.

Stegö Chilò will stay.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 12:18:44 PM EST
As I noted I agree it's nothing compared to what we have in France. I can't comment about the swedish left though, but I assume similar situation would have led to resignation too.

I wonder what citizens will find about Cecilia Stegö Chilò. In France we've had Jean-Jacques Aillagon then
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres (who was found guilty of money laundering a few years ago).

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 03:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stegö Chilò didn't pay her television license for 16 years. But of course, requiring a license for a TV, treating it like a gun or a dangerous chemical is absurd and unacceptable. Having 200 government hired spies snooping around neighbourhoods looking in through windows to see if you have a TV, or using signal spying to pick up TV signals from people's houses is not ok.

And you people complain about the government infringing your civil rights. Welcome to Sweden, the last Soviet state.

TV license? Come on. I sure as hell don't pay mine.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 03:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, same thing in France we have a TV license of 116 euros per year, with the same investigation procedures. I guess we're Soviet too :).

I had to sign a letter to tax authorities saying I don't have a TV in order not to pay it. Since I don't have a TV  I'm fully honest here (I didn't even activate the DSL TV provided by my ISP even though DSL TV is not submitted to this tax yet in France).

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 03:42:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A funny thing is that during the last few days there have been a flood of people (about 1000 more than an average week, and still counting) trying to get TV-licenses, a lot more than the number of TV sets sold. Mainly it's people from the elite, politicians, journalists, actors, CEO's and diplomats.

To hell with them all. :)

One thing this government hopefully will do is eliminate the license and replace it with a tax.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 03:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing with copyright, I'd love a global licence :).
by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 04:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In France this is now a tax added to the "taxe d'habitation", the local tax you pay annually for your home.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 04:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just the declaration collection process that changed, if you still sign that you don't have TV, you don't pay it (I received my taxe d'habitation paper notice a few days ago, all declared and paid on the net :).
by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 04:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know this is veering dangerously off topic but how about broadcasts through the internet? The Dutch don't have a tv license, and I can watch the news at the website of the Dutch BBC News equivalent, the NOS.

I was always irked by the fact I needed to pay up for looking at the BBC News broadcasts via the web as long as I was living in England...

How does that work in France? Or Sweden?

by Nomad on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 01:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watching on the web is free though not all TV shows are aired on the web. Maybe a third are, including all news shows. Owning a computer with a TV card (which is not needed to watch TV on the web) requires a license.

But who cares about the silly license?! The fact of the matter in Sweden is that if one of these KGB agents invades your home you have a legal right not to let him in, or to throw him out. Even if he sees your TV you can deny it flat out.

Maybe it was a microwave oven made out of an old TV? Or maybe the tuner had been removed (it's really the tuner that is taxed*). If the agent, contrary to the law, still reports that you have a TV, the only thing you have to do is call the agency and tell them that you have gotten rid of the TV and they will stop sending you bills.

* This is interesting. It means you can have a parabole dish or digital box and a digital projector. There is no tuner in these contraptions so you don't have to pay the license, but you can still watch TV, including public service shows. An expensive yet legal way to obey the law.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 02:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Finland, you write them an email and cancel your licence.

In my case, it was because I don't  watch TV any more. But actually there was another legally acceptable reason - had I chosen to continue to watch.

I live in a large house with friends. I have the ground floor, they the upper floor. They pay the licence because they have a kid and there are some decent kid's programs still broadcast.

Two of the criteria for whether a house is a single household or not are a) is there an internal connecting door? b) Do occupants share a freezer? In our case both are true: upstairs has a walk in chill room, but I have a freezer which we share.

So only one licence needed at this address. However I can see the end of the state TV licence fee within 5 years - or at least mass opt-outs. Finnish programming is boring, broadband is everywhere. QED

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 03:39:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...you too would pitch in on this. It seems I'm not alone in thinking the end of ordinary tv is nearing. What other countries have tv licenses anyway?
by Nomad on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 03:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know - I'll google...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:04:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"....two-thirds of the countries in Europe and half of the countries in Asia and Africa use television licences to fund public television. TV Licensing is rare in the Americas, largely being confined to French overseas departments."

Australia is one nation that has given up the licence. But there are still a lot of countries with a 'broadcast receiver licence' - inckuding Albania.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European countries with licence:

1.1.1 Albania
1.1.2 Austria
1.1.3 Belgium (Walloon Region)
1.1.4 Bosnia and Herzegovina
1.1.5 Croatia
1.1.6 Cyprus
1.1.7 Czech Republic
1.1.8 Denmark
1.1.9 Finland
1.1.10 France
1.1.11 Germany
1.1.12 Greece
1.1.13 Iceland
1.1.14 Ireland
1.1.15 Italy
1.1.16 Macedonia
1.1.17 Malta
1.1.18 Norway
1.1.19 Poland
1.1.20 Romania
1.1.21 Slovakia
1.1.22 Slovenia
1.1.23 Sweden
1.1.24 Switzerland
1.1.25 United Kingdom


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1.2 Asia
 1.2.1 Israel
 1.2.2 Pakistan
 1.2.3 Japan
 1.2.4 Korea, Republic of
 1.2.5 Singapore
1.3 Africa
 1.3.1 Ghana
 1.3.2 Mauritius
 1.3.3 Namibia
 1.3.4 South Africa

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_licence

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South Africa has them, and they've gotten very aggressive about enforcing them.

One of the more interesting efforts was a campaign to convince people that the TV license patrol squad was rolling up and down the streets in vehicles with special equipment that could detect televisions from outside the house, so people wouldn't try to lie to the door-to-door guys about not having a TV.

I am not making this up.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:05:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they say that all the time in Sweden too. They walk around with some technical equipment trying to detect television sets from outside. It's called "pejling".

Here are some propaganda videos about it: http://www.radiotjanst.se/Tv_pejling/Film_info.htm

I mean, using children as small stasi spies. It's both immoral and incredibly tasteless. DDR-Sweden.
http://www.radiotjanst.se/Tv_pejling/plug%20in/Film%20snigel.htm

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 05:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They do not say that they are using any technical equipment as much as imply it. I have never seen anyone with such technical equipment nor heard anyone who has witnessed such equipment. And from accounts of people who has done this 'pejling' it is all done walking door-to-door.

So Sweden is quite like South Africa.

The 'snail on the eye'-promotional is not to make small children act as spies, it is to install a moral element that is more believable coming from a child then from an adult. Reinfeldts chief of staff used it quite efficiently when it was discovered that he had not payed his license before last weak: "It was wrong and I am one of those who deserve a snail on my eye". Brilliant public relations work. He not only admitted the deed but the moral repercussions of the deed in admitting that he deserves a snail on the eye. I bet he will not have to answer any more questions about his tv license.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 07:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the heck is this legislation still in place if it is thoroughly non-fuctional and heavily getting eroded by web broadcasting and digital tv?? This is not going to end up as another ideological vs practical debate, I hope...

Perhpas the first question should be: what was the reason to introduce a tv license in the first place? What's the reasoning behind it?

by Nomad on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 03:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess would be that tv licenses started as a way of letting the few that owned TV:s pay most of the costs of producing material for those TV:s.

In Sweden, the mayor factor in keeping the current construction is the resistance within public service against abandoning it. Adn since they are media, they have power when it comes to debates. The stated reason for keeping it is upholding a financial seperation between government and public service, thus promoting a seperation of power. Though this is quite fictional as I remember public service getting cutbacks during the swedish financial crisis of the early ninties.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 07:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact of the matter in Sweden is that if one of these KGB agents invades your home you have a legal right not to let him in, or to throw him out. Even if he sees your TV you can deny it flat out.

Well, real KGB agents did not have such limitations (or didn't care about 'em)... I find this discussion and the emotion into it patently ridiculous.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 16th, 2006 at 02:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Tax-haters don't know what to invent next, may be that tax collectors work for Bin Laden?
by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 08:23:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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