A pink unicorn in Malmö
Vital core tax spending, at least for the City of Malmö: a six-metre tall sparkly pink unicorn on a rainbow plinth. The City of Malmö spent SEK 850,000 on the unicorn to decorate the city for World Pride. The unicorn is meant to show that everyone can be who they want to be.
Criticism of the unicorn came from far and wide as the city receives a great deal of money from the rest of the country via the system that levels out local tax revenue. The responsible city councillor in Malmö was unfazed, however, saying that the critics “need a big hug and a bit of love”. That’s easy to say when someone else is footing the bill.
The pink unicorn can be seen as a combination of political posturing and bureaucracy. Local politicians need to be seen as tolerant and to look good in the press. When someone else is paying, there is limited control over how the money is spent in practice.