• Sweden edition
 
Sweden 'weakened' EU sanctions against Syria

Sweden 'weakened' EU sanctions against Syria

Published: 03 Dec 2011 16:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Dec 2011 16:18 GMT+01:00

Sweden stepped on the brakes, stopping the EU from imposing sanctions against two telecom companies active in Syria. Both do business with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson.

The decision has come in for some heavy criticism from several players.

"Sweden has long had a very good reputation when it comes to human rights, but the current government is undermining this in one issue after another," said MP Bodil Ceballos of the Green Party (Miljöpartiet) to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

On Thursday evening EU's foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions against Syria, which apply to 11 companies whose technology can be used to track and supervise regime critics.

But Sweden stopped two further companies, state-owned STE and South Africa-based MTN, from being added to the blacklist, reported national television channel SVT.

Several EU diplomats told SVT that Sweden's actions could be traced to the "Ericsson factor", in other words that Swedish Ericsson is supplying Syria with technology that enables tracking of the regime's opposition through mobile phones.

According to Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt, however, Sweden's decision is in fact an attempt to aid the opposition.

"In the case of Syria, mobile phones and their cameras are one of the opposition's strongest weapons," he wrote on his blog on Friday.

"Without them we wouldn't find out very much about the brutal violence used by the regime," wrote Bildt.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:07 December 3, 2011 by senlac
I beleve that should "weakened"
17:33 December 3, 2011 by skumdum
be or not to beleve
20:07 December 3, 2011 by gogo99
The Swedish hypocrisy at its best. If it was for ex. - Israel, the Swedes would have come up with a different arguments.
20:36 December 3, 2011 by motti
@ gogo99. You are correct of course. Could you imagine the absolute uproar if Israel had slaughtered more than 4000 civilians, and the murder was still continuing?

I note the absolute silence from our pro Arab and Moslem friends who are so quick to criticise Israel and make outlandish malicious allegations without any fact or truth.

Xexon, Iraniboy etc etc, where are you? Where are your explanations? Where are your accusations? No doubt you may claim that Israel is behind it all! Loike any person with decency, I feel for those who have brutally murdered, raped, tortured and imprisoned, just because they want democracy. Sadly, if Egypt, Tunisia and the other Arab countries are anything to go by, Democracy will still be a dream. Why? Because the Islamic Brotherhood are not known for their desire of democracy.
21:01 December 3, 2011 by elleno
Just like in WWII when they Swedes sold equipment to the Germans.

A thoroughly rotten bunch of people with not a shred of morality in their blood. I hope the Arabs soon overrun them (they are well on the way) and get rid of these disgusting hypocrites forever.

Enough is enough. We are sick of being preached to by hypocrites with a population like a normal sized town in the real world.
21:36 December 3, 2011 by sgt_doom
One prays Bildt is finally telling the truth about something?

Unlike when he was a director at Lundin Petroleum, and those massacres took place in Sudan to remove those people living on the oil-rich land they wished to plunder.

Yes, we hope Carl Bildt is telling the truth about something......

http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/
22:39 December 3, 2011 by riose
@elleno ...and like the Americans...or anyone else that got a chance.

All the concentration camps used IBM technology - google Hollerith.
04:17 December 4, 2011 by repat_xpat
@ riose,

I didn't see a reference to America in elleno's post. Could the "American" issue be your personal issue and not related to this topic or elleno?

BTW: I'm not necessarily supporting elleno's post. I only question the constant mud throwing at America.
09:10 December 4, 2011 by Abe L
Makes perfect sense, anything to protect your own economy and try to make it stronger.
12:38 December 4, 2011 by riose
@repat_xpat

It was an example. Ellipsis means unfinished thought, so please continue reading to "...or anyone else that got a chance." Even Russia did business with the Nazi.

I have no problems with the USA, and personally, I love all the Americans I have met. I don't like their foreign policies, sanitary system, or excessive consumerism, but overall, my impression of the USA is positive.
13:08 December 4, 2011 by Summer Dreams
yep! business is never personal
14:16 December 4, 2011 by Migga
@ elleno

Nice way of blaming an entire population on the acts of the politicans. Sweden traded with both the axis and allies during The Second World War. But you wouldn`t know because yoou are blinded by your hate towards Swedes.
19:09 December 4, 2011 by strixy
There is aword or this: hypocrisy.
19:32 December 4, 2011 by shahislam
The server of war toys and the inviting party consist of a few street level bullying guys supported by idiot portion of the public.

Great guys behind leaderships like current USA, France, Sweden, Norway, Canada etc. cannot really have connections with use of barbarian style killing machines against or in favor of any of the hot tempered groups of bullying people of the same Semitic origin.who do not have wise enough philosophical views to live their 'one time real life' happily on earth in possible most unselfish and peaceful ways. It's time for commencing the truly humanitarian movement to be an united not divided "One world under One absolutely honest UN power".

Shahislam
21:13 December 4, 2011 by motti
Shahislam, sadly, one world under one absolutelt honest UN power will never happen. People are, thankfully different, and are not all the same. That is not to say that are better or worse than others, just we are different. The problem is the word HONEST. Nice thought though.

If you mean everyone should be Moslem, no thank you, anymore than everyone should be Jewish, Christian, Hindu or anything else.
03:33 December 5, 2011 by Kaethar
What a ridiculous sensationalist headline. You said so yourself - telecom giant. Ericsson is world-leading in telecommunications. That Ericsson has deals with the now un-banned television stations is hardly surprising.

The reason Carl Bildt gives makes perfect sense. Sanctions on communications WOULD hurt the protestors as opposed to the government. Sweden was one of the first countries to criticize the Syrian regime and is hardly going to support them.

But I guess people enjoy trying to smear Sweden (probably because of the Assange campaign) but that doesn't excuse this lack of journalistic integrity. The Local is becoming more like a tabloid every day.
09:27 December 5, 2011 by Robert69
Ericsson needs to make its profits while more refugees come to Sweden from Syria.
11:15 December 6, 2011 by motti
Every country traded with Nazi Germany prior to and some during WWII.

Many private and state own organisations traded with Germany and profiteered by their ventures. I know the Norwegians, understandabl, can be angry with Sweden, but even Fred Olsen, Storebrand, Den norske Creditbank made huge profits as did the French Railway system.

S'funny that the pro Arab/Moslems have still not answered my challenge to comment on the deaths of more than 4000 people in Syria, with who knows how many tortured, raped, wounded. I am certain they read this column. Perhaps next time they decide to carry out their usual Jew hating outbursts, they will need to be reminded of their silence.
12:54 December 14, 2011 by Uriel9
#5 elleno You hate swedes because of this and trading with germany (under threat btw) 60 years ago. If you are a fair person that condemn peoples equally depending on the bad things they've done now and in history, you must then hate basically every people on this planet. Or you're just Biased. I think you're just Biased, as most people commenting here.
08:49 December 22, 2011 by shahislam
For Assad it is a do or die situation, so uprising is bound to continue and will spread further. Any violent policy is no longer to go unnoticed by increasing interconnected global public.
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability. READ () »

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Advertisement:
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

720
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