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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Second Swedish minister resigns
Cecilia Stego Chilo
Cecilia Stego Chilo's department was responsible for TV fees
Sweden's culture minister has become the second minister to resign over financial irregularities, only days since the new government took office.

Cecilia Stego Chilo admitted she had not paid her television licence fee for 16 years, and had not paid employer taxes when taking on a nanny.

On Saturday Trade Minister Maria Borelius resigned for similar reasons.

The scandal has hit Fredrik Reinfeldt's new centre-right government less than two weeks since it was formed.

Ms Stego Chilo said her failure to pay her TV fee and employer taxes "was not acceptable".

"I am naturally very sorry that it is necessary to leave the... culture department after so short a time," she added.

The 1,500 kronor (109; US$200) per year TV licence fee funds Sweden's public broadcasting, which comes under her culture department portfolio.

On Saturday Ms Borelius quit after admitting hiring nannies without paying taxes and employer's fees.

She said she was giving up both her cabinet post and her seat in parliament because media pressure had made "a normal family life impossible".

Tax cuts

Mr Reinfeldt has ruled out any major changes for his four-party coalition, which defeated the Social Democrats in elections, and formed a government on 6 October.

The prime minister said it would be "a mistake to believe that the [media] reports of the last days will be decisive for the alliance's policies".

Mr Reinfeldt campaigned on the promise of big tax cuts, and Swedish media said he was set to announce income tax reductions of up to 40bn kronor (2.9bn; $5.4bn), as well as freezing property taxes and halving the wealth tax.

He was also expected to cut unemployment and sickness benefits.




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