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SAAB IN PERIL

GENERAL MOTORS

Saab workers stage demonstration

Saab employees filled a main thoroughfare in the company’s home base of Trollhättan in central Sweden on Thursday night to show their faith in the future of the beleaguered automaker.

Saab workers stage demonstration

“Many believe in Saab and this demonstration proves it,” said IF Metall union boss Stefan Löfven to the TT news agency.

The torchlight parade and speeches by Swedish Saab workers were part of a coordinated effort by their counterparts in other countries to demonstrate for their jobs.

“GM is a catastrophe,” said Opel union head Klaus Franz in Rüsselheim, Germany, another Saab production site, referring to Saab’s US-based owner, General Motors.

The streets of Trollhättan were illuminated by mass of about 600 torch bearers who paraded from Kungsgatan to Drottningtorget where roughly 3,000 people had gathered.

“There’s a huge amount of bitterness and frustration over the government’s policy. People feel like Saab hasn’t been give a chance and I share their anger,” said Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin to TT.

The demonstration came just hours after GM announced a staggering loss for 2008 of $30.9 billion.

TROLLHÄTTAN

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.