• Sweden edition
 
Borg calls for renewed privatization drive

Borg calls for renewed privatization drive

Published: 08 Aug 2010 11:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Aug 2010 11:10 GMT+02:00

A first step in the privatization process could entail reducing the state’s holdings in telecoms giant TeliaSonera and Nordea bank.

“We’re expecting sales revenue of 25 billion kronor each year during the next term of government. It’s an important part of our plan to pay off the national debt,” Borg told business daily Dagens Industri.

Since the last election, the government has put TeliaSonera, Nordea, SAS and mortgage lender SBAB in the shop window, but Borg could not say for sure which companies would come under the hammer in the next four years.

Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson has previously expressed a willingness to sell off part of Vattenfall’s overseas assets and to bring some private partners into the energy firm's ownership structure.

Social Democrat party secretary Ibrahim Baylan has responded to the proposed privatisation drive by demanding that the government outline exactly which state companies it intends selling. He also rejected as “terrible financial management” a plan to sell off holdings in companies providing substantial revenue to the state coffers in order to “amortize a debt at a time when interests rates are at a record low”.

“The right-wing parties are presenting so many solutions at the moment. The only thing they same to agree on is the need to sell,” Baylan told news ageny TT.

Minister for Financial Markets Mats Odell was not sure whether the government would present a list of companies for sale as it did in the lead-up to the last election.

“I can’t say exactly the form it will take but I can promise that we’re not going to sell off any state companies at knockdown prices. We’re only going to sell when we consider it really good business for the country,” he told Dagens Industri.

A certain level of privatization could remain on the cards even if there is a change of government. On Thursday, Social Democrat economic policy spokesman Thomas Östros welcomed the Centre Party proposal to sell off some of Vattenfall’s foreign assets. Ibrahim Baylan meanwhile has indicated that the largest opposition party could envisage selling Sweden's shareholding in troubled airline SAS.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:53 August 8, 2010 by 2394040
When does he plan to turn over government to the rich?
16:04 August 8, 2010 by glamelixir
Privatization is one of the worst things that happened to countries.
17:34 August 8, 2010 by Jan M
Sell offs are irreversible. If an individual has a debt but also has investments in profitable companies those investments are viewed as long-term assets and are counted as a debt offset in any case. If such an individual proposed the sale of those assets in order to write a one-off cheque to cover some of the debt, creditors would view that as short-sighted and desperate unless the debt had reached critical levels. As far as I'm aware the Swedish national debt is not a critical burden to the Swedish economy.

Britain went down this road in the 1980s and is now screwed. It doesn't need to be this way.
04:32 August 9, 2010 by Tall swede
Sweden do have a national debt. And the sale of vin & sprit made it possible to pay back some of it. The decreased interest on the debt is twice the size of the profit from that company. And that is guaranteed in the long run, and not uncertain like the profit of the company.
09:39 August 9, 2010 by Jan M
And the national debt and interest payments rise again when unemployment increases and tax receipts fall. You see there's not such thing as a certainty but painting by numbers economics really doesn't work. As for profits from vin and sprit being unpredictable, that type of business tends to do well in an economic boom and just as well in an economic downturn. I'll let you figure out why.
11:06 August 9, 2010 by Great Scott
Jan M you hit the nail on the head. I would also like to add that when companies are sold off they become expensive, unreliable and inefficient for the public.

Another reason for selling public assets is to fund tax breaks for the rich. As in the UK this money is NEVER seen by the public.
11:11 August 9, 2010 by Kooritze
Employment laws have changed dramatically in Sweden to the extent that many have short contracts, work through agencies and thus no security for the future.

When I see this headline I immediately see familiar trends that I have seen before in the UK reminicent of the Thatcher years.

Privatization will generate short term revenues but will change your country forever...........and not for the better. I also see other trends, the military is now a voluntary paid force, are already in Afghanistan which makes the country,s neutrality farcical. Next stage will be joining Nato, US bases on your territory perhaps. It,s a real shame.
13:11 August 9, 2010 by Taxalien
It is reasonable to privatise companies. Vin och sprit didn't start out as state owned companies. They were private entities that the then more traditionally influenced liberals in the first chamber wanted nothing to do with. It was only as the first chamber became filled with paternalistically oriented liberals (s) that they agreed to buy the company and complete the monopolisation of alcohol in Sweden.

Now, the problem with Swedish politics is that through the last 10 years each government has pillaged roughly 100-140 bn kr by either stealing the money from the pensionsystem or by selling out these companies. It is nothing other than window dressing the poor finances and the structural problems that manifest itself in a country that uses socialism as a planning tool to influence and distort competition throughout the whole economy.

If you remove these temporary effects on the public debt, you can see that it is either stagnat or clearly rising all the time.

The policies of the alliance government is a failure. The other reds and greens would be even worse. If you want a different choice a different mind set is required and that mindset has to start by critically challenging all the intellectuals in this county who believe that common sense ideas is all that is needed to fix the problem with poor planners in politics and government.

The reality is that the planners must be sacked and the individual freedom that Sweden was renowned for before 1960s restored. That is when we had the 2nd strongest economy in the world. There is only one country that grew faster than Sweden and that was Japan.
13:12 August 9, 2010 by miss79
after privatising apoteket n sjukvård now this?wow, alliansen is making money n getting richer where as people here in sweden 60 percent are getting poorer..
13:57 August 9, 2010 by Audrian
At a superficial level the settling of debt by the present government might appear to be a good thing. In effect what the government is doing is to change the country's policy, and make it similar to what the US has been implementing since 1970s (since president Regan). This failed policy (neo-consevative policy) was beset by several recessions and rising income gap in favor of the rich in the US. The US is one of the most stratified countries in the world. There are several million children who go hungry everyday. Save the Children (an organization meant for poor countries is engaged in food distribution to poor children in the US).

In Sweden a tiny minority wants Sweden to implement a neo-conservative policy (where the rich control the state). This government which is also after the same thing is taking a round about measure to reach it. Reason: A recent survey shows Swedish people do not support a neo-conservative policy.

These companies are profit making companies. Debt can be paid from the profit these companies are making. If the debt is too bog the government can still keep major ownership (51%) and sell the rest in the open competitive market. Once the debt is fully paid, the government can start buying the 49% and be full owner.

Private ownership does not necessarily bring efficiency, The British rail way company is more inefficient under private control than it was under government control. The same thing can be said of banks which brought an economic melt down and threatened the stability of capitalism!
19:26 August 9, 2010 by americanska
@glamelixir - you said:

"Privatization is one of the worst things that happened to countries."

That is like saying "The internet is the worst thing that happened to communication."
11:24 August 10, 2010 by scorpion69
Be careful in New Zealand after its electricity network was privatised prices went up services went down along with maintenance so much so that its major city Auckland was without power for about a week.
12:11 August 10, 2010 by americanska
A week without power - that might be a record repair time for the goverment run infastructure in sweden. Nearly every year there are people without power for days/weeks for some reason or another.
17:48 August 10, 2010 by Great Scott
11:24 August 10, 2010 by scorpion69

Be careful in New Zealand after its electricity network was privatised prices went up services went down along with maintenance so much so that its major city Auckland was without power for about a week.

This is not unique to New Zealand, it happens the world over.
10:48 August 12, 2010 by NickM
Apparently, this story received hardly any mainstream media attention in Sweden.

Hmm, the mainstream media are owned by ultra rich powerful private corporations. I wonder why they would possibly choose to suppress something that would make them richer?
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,007
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN