Richard North, 22/04/2005  

It appears that the commissioner for truth and reconciliation, none other than the fragrant Margot Wallström has been caught with her fingers (metaphorically) in the till.

According to the Swedish daily, Expressen she has been implicated in a domestic political scandal involving membership fraud in the ruling Social Democratic Party. It has emerged that in her time as a district chair, she misreported membership figures to receive more state funds for the party.

This, incidentally, is the same commissioner who, on Wednesday, told the press corps, in a speech about "putting the EU in the picture" that "communication is not a one-way street; it is a two-way channel.. I deeply believe that we have to listen better and earlier to people".

To improve communications, she is inviting journalists to have "regular chats" in "a slightly more relaxed situation than on the podium of the pressroom". One wonders whether a little chat about her role in "membership fraud" would be that relaxed - much less her boss José Manuel Barroso talking about his holiday arrangements.

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