Eel fishing scandal piles pressure on Sweden’s prime minister

Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is facing mounting pressure over a new controversy involving eel fishing.

Kristersson is drawing flak for hiring Peter Magnus Nilsson as a key adviser, a former journalist who was found guilty of illegal eel fishing and lying to police about it.

Nilsson was hired last October, a year after he was caught in a raid by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.

Kristersson has admitted he knew Nilsson broke the law but said his behavior was “stupid” and not something that made him unsuitable for the position, according to a BBC report.

The opposition Social Democrats, however, remain adamant in demanding Nilsson’s resignation, saying he “actively misled the police as recently as December.”

“The government claims to prioritize law and order … so it is extremely surprising that the prime minister’s state secretary has misled the police in an interrogation,” Ardalan Shekarabi, a party spokesperson, told local daily Dagens Nyheter.

‘Did not think clearly’

Since 2007, eel fishing has been prohibited in Sweden for all but a small number of licensed fishermen due to its endangered status.

In a recent Facebook post, Nilsson said he lied to authorities because he found the situation so “embarrassing.”

When police contacted him later, Nilsson, a former editor at Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri, said he lied again because he “did not think clearly.”

Nilsson said he later reached out to police to confess and accepted a fine of around 38,000 Swedish kronor ($3,730).

Source: Anadolu Agency