Swedish minister has learned English for 259,000

Swedish minister has learned English for 259,000
Minister for Rural Affairs in Sweden, Sven-Erik Bucht, is really struggling with English. Since he took office as minister in 2014, he has taken English courses at a cost of a quarter of a million Swedish crowns, the newspaper ATL reports.

- Employees in government offices can be offered individual lessons in a language if there is a special need to adapt the teaching to the right level, says Wendy Holm, press officer at the Cabinet Office, to ATL.

Sven-Erik Bucht has declined to comment on his need for language courses because the costs are within the framework of the Government Office's policy, according to the minister.

ATL has for some time examined Sven-Erik Bucht's expenses since he took office as Minister for Rural Affairs two years ago.

"We've gone through hundreds of receipts. The image of a minister who does not cheat appears, but one who costs a lot of money."

What stands out the most are the language courses the minister took to master his new assignment. A total of ten invoices with a total cost of SEK 259,000 ($29,000) have been submitted since June 2015.

Also the minister's trips home have on a few occasions been very expensive. Two weekends he has rented cars that cost 17,000 and 19,000. The trip by taxi would have cost about 5,000.

Trips by plane abroad, to China, Japan and Brussels, have also cost a lot. Sven-Erik Bucht has traveled abroad in style three times. A flight with SAS to Beijing, to promote Swedish food exports to China in November 2015 cost 48,500 ($5,400).

A trip from Dubai to Tokyo in March this year came to 54,500, and a trip to Kazakhstan in September cost 27,600.

The Government Office policy is that it may be acceptable to travel in business class, for example, if the schedule is tight.

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