STOCKHOLM - Sweden's financial markets minister has had to apologise just days ahead of elections for sending a text message with the wording "you owe me big time" to a lobbyist in the wake of a key spending package, a newspaper said on Friday.
The daily Aftonbladet said Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman sent the text to a lobbyist for the Federation of Swedish Farmers. It did not say how it obtained the message. "I realise it was stupid to send the text message. I regret it. I would not do the same today," Norman told Aftonbladet.
His press secretary confirmed his words.
The message was sent in April after the government presented its budget bill which contained a multi-billion support package to boost Sweden's countryside.
Norman said the recipient was a friend and that he had no control over policy in this area or that he had ever discussed policy with anyone from The Federation of Swedish Farmers.
The four-party centre-right government is trailing the opposition badly in polls ahead of general elections due in just nine days.