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Sell more state-owned companies: party

TT/The Local · 10 Jun 2010, 14:12

Published: 10 Jun 2010 14:12 GMT+02:00

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Companies on Financial Markets Minister Mats Odell's list include SAS, TeliaSonera, Nordea and Vattenfall.

"It is important to continue to reduce state ownership," Odell said at a press conference on Thursday.

However, he stressed that the opportunity and the price must be right.

"We should not sell because of an ideological zeal for selling," said Odell. "It must be a good transaction for the state."

He added that the state had been able to reduce its indebtedness sharply with the sales it has made since the 2006 elections.

Some of the deals would, according to Odell, need to be safeguarded by special conditions, such as any possible transaction involving selling parts of Vattenfall.

One model could be that the state remains the majority owner, another that the Swedish people through concessions receive a guarantee that hydropower remains in Swedish hands.

Story continues below…

Among the other candidates for eventual sale that Odell has singled out is Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection (Svensk Bilprovning). However, he added the market must develop first. The company cannot be sold in the present climate when the market for motor vehicle inspections about to be deregulated.

Other companies on Odell's list include mortgage lender SBAB, Posten Nordic, Lernia, Sweroad and Arbetslivresurs.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:21 June 10, 2010 by StockholmSam
Hell no! Do not put our water supply (Vattenfall) into the hands of private corporations. That would be a HUGE mistake. Look at what happened in Bolivia! With privatization, water prices will go up and quality will go down. Increasingly limited access to this precious resource will further divide society along economic lines and when you remove access to good water, the peasants will revolt. Eventually, private corporations will own every drop of water, every molecule of air, and every grain of sand on the beach. Imagine that. When the water is nationalized, the public owns it and society benefits from it. When privatized, only a few people own it and profit from it.

The rest of those on the list, I don't care about in the least.
16:27 June 10, 2010 by saar
Vattenfall is an energy company not a water company.
16:37 June 10, 2010 by Ilaith
And their major source of power are danish coal power plants and not water.
17:33 June 10, 2010 by Argentox
Privatization is a very bad idea. Im from Hungary and I can tell you some fact what happened there. 8 years ago ... the state sold the gas, eletricity and 6-8 more companies to private persons. Gas and electricity prices generally became 5-7 times higher and the rest of the company just got bankrupted. The new goverment reailezd what a big mistake it was, and now they try to controll the prices but they can´t.

There was a village which tryed to puchase a wind turbine system to they own village in order to protect miljö and get lower prices. BUT if anyone want wind turbine they must have an okay from the electricity company. The village never got okay from the electricity company, because it would be a loss for them. And no one else got okay since....

So don´t privatizate Sweden, don´t!
17:49 June 10, 2010 by Audrian
The privatization theory, which the US has been pushing on the throat of developing countries and on its own people, is discredited beyond doubt. Since WWII, the US has suffered over 24 economic downturns, some of which were serious. The benefit of privatization goes to few individuals who will become super rich on the back of the majority that will suffer decline. When the silent majority wakes up it might find that it has been looted! By then changing governments does not work, as all start singing from the same hymn!
21:47 June 10, 2010 by Ilaith
@Argentox: You can't compare Hungary to Sweden. The historical and cultural differences and the differences in the political climate, especially regarding corruption (according to the Corruption Perceptions Index).

It should also be noticed that the state-owned companies in Hungary where a legacy of the communist era. A system designed in a way that it simply can't work. Privatizing chaos in corruption is bound to fail.

So you CAN'T COMPARE the situations. If you had read the article you would've noticed that special laws/rules would apply for the privatised comanies to prevent the situation you describe.

@Audrian: Comparing the situation with the US isn't going to work either. In comparison to the US Sweden is a Socialist (or even Communist) state. Thank god we don't use the US as a reference for that.

As said. The "Special Conditions" would prevent this. You should also take a look at past privatisations in Sweden, for example Televerket. It's completely different here than in the US.
06:00 June 11, 2010 by misssh
not vättenfall you idiots..... focus on making systembolaget private as then competition will start and the stupid price will lower !!
09:00 June 11, 2010 by Kronaboy
If you want to see an example of what a bad idea privatising utilities is then take a good long look at the UK. Take any of the utilities (i.e. Telephone), everyone will tell you what good the service it is now that it's been privatised, what they will not tell you is the millions (a huge sum in 1982) that was spent by the Government in updating the system prior to privatisation, hence the first example, and believe there are many more. With essential services like Heating and water the situation is even more dire, for example did you know that about 40,000 people died last year in the UK because they couldn't afford to heat their homes, don't believe me then go to the following links:




In hospitals up down the country they have a term for it it's called the “annual cull”, want to be like England, giving trillions to bankers to pay billions in bonuses, while thousands die and millions of children live in poverty, then go ahead privatise away, I'm sure there are plenty blood sucking leeches out there who will more than happy to make a profit out of the misery of others.
10:51 June 11, 2010 by Åskar
I think we should sell Mats Odell instead.
12:23 June 11, 2010 by chapora
When a government starts selling off it's assets and fails to invest in newer ones then it is undoubtably bound to head for a weakening of it's fiscal and eventually legal status. Every single government that has divulged itself of the public utilities that the people have entrusted in their hands has proven to be unable to reinvest that money into finacially viable projects that safeguard it's future. And thus the future of the nation that it represents. The Christian Democrats idea that it can legislate to protect an asset that it no longer has control or ownership of is quite frankly either naive or just plainly stupid. Once that asset is the property of a commercial concern then despite even the nobelest of intentions the monetary value of the service or product will be it's only single raison d'etre. So that electrical supply to that small village with only 15 people way out where ever is soon going to be seen as a cost that must be reduced. Not as a service that has to be provided. And if a law states that the service has to be maintained then guess what; it will become a valid argument for increased costs to the whole customer base. And should that be contested in court well then we all know that the best brains in the legal world are working either directly for these corporations or for firms that specialize in corporate law. Anyway the reason behind this proposed sale is what we should be keenly looking into. It is not just about ideology. It is about the prospect of sharp increases in government costs namely pensions that are causing the current government to look to options that "quick fix" these issues. Long term solutions must be found not ideas that will weaken the state, empower the gready and considerably reduce the standards of living that the citizens of that state have already paid for. The pension game needs to be thoroughly looked into all over the western world indeed it has been a known issue from as long ago as the 1960's. Once that fish has been tackled and it deffinately wont be easy will many governments including Sweden be in a better postion to provide their citizens with the level of service that those citizens have come to rely upon. But the asset stripping that is currently under proposal will never be a stable solution nor will it provide income in the future when it will be most needed. Where I come from the is a very old saying and it is not without wisdom. "Never sell, because what is gone is gone for good." or another also springs to mind "Don't sell your hand to pay for your finger."
13:56 June 11, 2010 by glamelixir
Ok, I am really tired of all those who state:" you can't compare blablabla to Sweden"

Point is, yes we can. We can on the basis that privatization has proved wrong in every single country where it has been brought up!

I am from Argentina, we are paying nowadays the high price of privatizing everything in the 90s. And the price is uneducated generation, insecurity and a poor state.

My husband (Swedish) had an accident at work yesterday for which he has to take some shots 5 days in a row. Because of the new private apotekets he had to pay more than 500 hundred kr in medicine which before was provided by the hospitals for the hospital fee. I hope I don't have to write 5 more long messages trying to explain the chain of events that can outcome of this kind of situations.

I just can't understand how some people can still think that this is a good idea!

Oh yes, I can, people that never had this system long enough to realize their consequences.

19:45 June 17, 2010 by tigger007
it's all about trimming the government. they feel that letting go of some state owned companies will free the government of it's responsibilities and creating an open air market for growth. you all have made good comments and even some will say that you can't compare one to another. ALL EFFECTS ARE THE SAME! when you privatize a state own company you are basically saying that this new company has DNA! it can run it's like a person and can make it's own mind up on what to do and what not to do! the state will lose it's power over this new company even if it has safe guards(laws). it's like freeing a slave! it's free to do whatever it wants within in the laws of the land,but can choose what laws it to follow. COMPANIES DON'T HAVE DNA!
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