Opposition announces privatisation plans

The conservative alliance is planning to sell off a number of state-owned companies if it manages to oust the Social Democrats from power in the September election. But mining company LKAB, power giant Vattenfall and forestry firm Sveaskog are not among them.

The opposition parties announced the decision at a joint press conference in Sundsvall on Monday as they began their tour of Norrland.

The Moderates, the Liberals, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats have already agreed to privatise state-owned companies worth 200 billion kronor during the next parliamentary period – 50 billion kronor-worth of sell-offs each year.

According to Alliance representatives, the combined value of the companies lined up for privatisation is now considerably higher.

On the list of potential sales are a number of companies listed on the Stockholm stock exchange such as Telia Sonera, Nordea, OMX and SAS. The Alliance also wants to sell the state-owned mortgage company SBAB, property firm Vasakronan and alcohol wholesaler Vin & Sprit.

There was no indication of the order in which the companies would be privatised.

Minister for Industry and Trade Thomas Östros said the proposal was a privatisation sale to meet political goals.

“When you sell off such a large proportion of the state companies there is a risk of ideological sell-out. That will affect citizens who won’t get a sufficient return for their assets.”

Östros accused the conservative parties of repeatedly changing their standpoint when it comes to LKAB and Vattenfall.

“That’s lousy ownership policy. It threatens the expansion plans in LKAB, for example, when they don’t know what’s going on.”

Discuss this topic!

TT/The Local