Sweden PM reshuffles cabinet over data scandal

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced his response to yesterday's motion of no-confidence against three government ministers.

Sweden's Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Migration, Helene Fritzon, Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist, Prime minister Stefan Lofven, Minister for Social Security Annika Strandhall and Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Morgan Johansson attend a press conference at Rosenbad, the Swedish government headquarters, in Stockholm on July 27, 2017.

The 2015 breach allowed IT workers overseas to access confidential information in Sweden's government and police database when the Transport Agency outsourced some of its services to IBM in the Czech Republic.

The scandal has blown up in recent weeks after it emerged that an entire database on Swedish drivers' licences was made available to technicians in the Czech Republic and Romania, with media reporting that the identities of intelligence agents may have been jeopardised. "It wouldn't serve Sweden to throw the country into a political crisis", Lofven told a news conference, citing the many challenges Sweden and the European Union were facing, including Brexit. "I'm choosing what's best for the country" said Löfven.

The head of the Transport Agency was sacked in January for negligence and waiving security clearance requirements for some foreign IT workers, Swedish reports said.

The Swedish military said information on its personnel, vehicles as well as defence and contingency planning could have been included in the leak, although the transport agency denied having a register on military vehicles and said there was no indication the data had been "spread in an improper way". Peter Hultqvist remains as defence minister.

The four right-wing opposition parties announced their plan on Wednesday but did not file the no-confidence motion.

"The prime minister will not take responsibility, which is why we will hold him to account in parliament". It was unclear if they would revise the planned motion to include only Mr Hultqvist.

Maria Agren, head of the transport agency at the centre of the leak, quit in January for undisclosed reasons but has since confessed to violating data handling.

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