In an interview with TTela, Lars Holmqvist the CEO of CLEPA explains that Sweden, unlike Germany and Italy, does not offer much compensation for businesses struggling under a recession.
“I followed closely the last deals made with Saab and it should not have had a negative impact on GM had they accepted it. What GM did was paltry.”
The Swedish government has set up an educational package to help former employees qualify for other types of jobs. “Everybody knows it will not generate many new jobs. It would be better if they would offer something of real value. In Gernmany and Italy, the state offer short-time compensations, which means the state will pay 50% or more for a couple of years.”
This would help ensure that the bankruptcy estate would increase significantly in value.
“If Magna or some other company would take over, this would significantly boost their chances. But I have difficulties believing this could happen, given the current administration’s politics”
Cherine Khalil, press secretary for the employment minister Hillevi Engström, expresses some concerns when asked by TTela. “The German system does not apply to companies in bankruptcy proceedings, but rather existing companies hit by the recession. And the part about other companies interested in resuming production at Saab are pure speculations so far”.
She adds that short-time compensations talks are taking place between Hillevi Engström, Anders Borg (minister of finance) and the union IF Metall concerning measures to handle the recession. These talks just started.
I asked RedJ how this works in Germany:
“If you as a company hadn’t enough work to employ more than 50% of your employees, you where entitled to ask for “Kurzarbeiertgeld”. But you also had to show that the cause for your low level of activity was caused only by the crisis in 2009.
So if your company were entitled to receive “Kurzarbeitergeld”, the state did fill up your wage with maximum 60% w/o Kids or 67% w/ Kids of the difference between what you should get (working full time) and what you are getting during the “Kurzarbeit”.
This system was introduced in 2009, and back then a company could use it for a maximum of 24 months. The German government has extended the program already two times, for 2010 and for 2011, making slight changes.”
As for SweGov: Yes, Saab are now bankrupt, and Ms Khalil could very well be correct asserting that the German compensation does not apply to a company in bankruptcy proceedings, but how about answering this: Would this scheme have helped Saab a year ago? Could it help those interested in restarting Saab? Four ministers shows up in Trollhättan after SWAN had to throw in the towel. Where were SweGov when EIB were practically sabotaging Saab?