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Antonov can’t be an owner in Saab: EIB

The European Investment Bank on Thursday confirmed a loan to Swedish carmaker Saab was approved on condition Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov did not take over, a report said.

Antonov can't be an owner in Saab: EIB

“The EIB is confirming that a loan to Saab… was given under the condition that Vladimir Antonov was not given the opportunity to take ownership in Saab,” EIB spokesman Pär Isaksson told Swedish news agency TT.

He added the EIB had informed the Swedish authorities of the condition at the start of the project evaluation in 2009.

Antonov, a former shareholder in Saab’s new owner Spyker and controversial figure because of concerns over his business dealings and rumours of ties to organised crime, has repeatedly said he wanted a stake in Saab.

He was approved as an investor earlier this year by Sweden’s National Debt Office (Riksgälden).

The EIB gave a €400 million ($580 million) loan to the cash-strapped carmaker, and the Debt Office also had a say in ownership changes because Sweden guaranteed the loan.

Antonov’s Swedish spokesman said the businessman had been informed he could not take a stake in Saab.

“We have intensified efforts to find alternative financing solutions and let this process for his approval by the bank and Sweden go, because it’s completely meaningless,” Lars Carlström told the TV4 West news station.

Saab’s production has been stalled on and off since April as the carmaker scrambles to find the cash to pay its suppliers.

It announced Tuesday it would have to delay paying the wages of its white-collar employees.

Iconic Swedish brand Saab was saved at the last minute at the beginning of 2010 when it was bought by small Dutch firm Spyker from US giant GM.

The new owner had big ambitions for Saab but the carmaker has since then lurched from one cash crisis to another.

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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.