• 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
National
US runaway forced to keep fake name
'Wanted' photograph of David Hemler used by US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Hemler lives and works in Uppsala. Photo: Shutterstock

US runaway forced to keep fake name

A US airman who deserted from the military three decades ago and moved to Sweden has failed in his bid to get his old name back, because a Swedish court says he can’t prove his identity. READ  

National
Swedish man beats bus in video challenge
Busses in Sundbyberg could be targeted by copycat runners. Photo: TT

Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

After a video of a man sprinting between underground stops in London went viral last week, a Swedish runner took up the challenge of beating his bus in Sundbyberg in north west Stockholm. READ  

National
Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden
Stockholm experienced heavy rain on Sunday. Photo: TT

Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden

After heavy rain broke off the September sunshine in eastern Sweden on Sunday, forecasters warn more bad weather is on the way. READ  

Tech
World car record on Malmö bridge

World car record on Malmö bridge

The longest electric car parade on a bridge between two countries was formed on the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark on Sunday, with environmental campaigners breaking several other world records in the process. READ  

National
Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash
The damaged ferry is being inspected on Monday. Photo: TT

Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash

UPDATED: A ferry crashed into a pier in the port of Helsingborg in southern Sweden on Sunday night, with two people taken to hospital following the collision. READ  

Budget headache for new coalition partners

UPDATED: The Social Democrats have been holding talks with the Green party to try and agree on a future coalition budget. READ  

National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

849
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