Government Opposes Commission to Investigate Swedish King
The Swedish government Wednesday rejected a proposal to appoint a commission to look into allegations that friends of the king have been in contact with criminals, while a leading daily called for the king to abdicate.
King Carl Gustaf's approval ratings have tumbled in the wake of the publication last year of an unauthorized biography alleging that he had risked his security and image by attending private parties at sleazy nightclubs.
The allegations, as well as the potential risk of blackmail, were cited by opposition Left Party member Lena Ohlsson as reasons to appoint a commission.
Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said the government has no plans to appoint such a commission.
The allegations resurfaced in a recent book, The Swedish Godfather, claiming that friends of the king had contacted criminals in a bid to buy incriminating photographs from the owner of the nightclub where some of the parties were staged.
A close friend of the king, Anders Lettstrom, was caught on tape discussing a possible deal with a go-between. Lettstrom last week apologized to the king and others for his 'initiative.'
In an unprecedented move, the king late Monday broke his silence to deny the allegations, but admitted the affair has 'harmed me, my family and the Swedish monarchy.'
The authors of the controversial biography, Carl XVI Gustaf - The Unwilling Monarch, published last year, maintained they had credible sources while the nightclub owner said he planned to release the photos 'within months or weeks.'
The king, who turned 65 in April, said Monday he had no plans to hand over to his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria.
The Aftonbladet tabloid - the country's biggest-selling daily - urged the king 'to step down - for the people's sake.'