Diesel vehicles “discriminated against” in Sweden

Sweden has the lowest proportion of diesel-engine vehicles, and a vehicle tax on diesel-engine cars that is four times higher than on petrol-driven cars. Politicians and the car industry are now demanding that the punitive tax on diesel be removed.

“It’s all due to out-of-date prejudice about emissions from diesel engines,” says Anders Röj, fuel manager at Volvo Trucks.

Volvo to produce flexi-fuel vehicles

Volvo has now decided to offer S40 and V 50 medium-range cars with ethanol adapted engines as of next autumn.

Saab Automobile will be marketing an ethanol alternative – the Saab 9-5 Combi – as of next spring.

Tough labour market

The Swedish labour market has not picked up as yet despite the boom in the economy. Visible unemployment is at 4.9 per cent, down from 5.4 per cent year on year, but 3.1 per cent of the workforce are active on labour market programmes as compared to 2 per cent one year ago. This means that unemployment is at 7.9 per cent – an increase of 0.9 percentage points year on year.

Retail trade profits from bad weather

The Swedish Shoe, Textile & Clothing Retailers’ Association reports that sales of shoes rose by 39 per cent in November as a result of the bad weather that affected much of Sweden during the period.

Sales of clothes also rose, albeit by a more modest 3.5 per cent.

Orders continue to pour in

Statistics Sweden reports that new orders to Swedish industry increased by 2.7 per cent from September to October. This followed a 4.3 per cent upswing in the preceding month. Orders from the domestic market rose by 2.7 per cent and from the export market by 2.6 per cent.

The total volume of new orders rose by 0.1 per cent in November and industrial production rose by 1 per cent in October.

Telia Sonera caught up in Russian battle

Telia Sonera has been drawn into the ongoing power struggle around Russian mobile operators’ VimpelCom and Megafon, in which Telia is a majority shareholder.

The battle concerns a shareholding in Megafon, Russia’s third largest mobile operator, which has resulted in a bitter conflict between the Alfa Group (VimpelCom shareholder) and Russian Information Technology Minister Leonid Reiman. Alfa has accused Reiman of corruption and of concealing a holding in Megafon.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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