Parliament passes trillion kronor plan

Parliament passes trillion kronor plan
The Swedish parliament has passed a 1.5 trillion kronor ($194.1 billion) plan to aid the country's financial sector as it struggles to weather the global credit crisis.

“The proposal was voted through with 138 votes in favour, 20 opposed and 104 abstaining,” parliament secretary Gunnar Sätterkvist told AFP.

The government presented the plan last week to give it “a mandate to manage problems such as liquidity shortages or potential solvency problems in the future, under predictable forms and where taxpayers’ interests are protected.”

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg has repeatedly stated that the country’s banks are in good financial shape and not in need of any handouts from the state.

But the banks have been affected by the global liquidity shortage, and even before the plan was adopted, the Swedish central bank this week had to step in to save the Carnegie Investment Bank, offering it access to liquidity loans up to five billion kronor ($647 million).

The central bank also said Wednesday it would ease bank lending for non-financial companies that have likewise begun taking a hit from the global credit crunch.