I am missing nationalism (The Swedish government is not like other governments)

Tompa asked me to post the following article from di.se:

I’m missing nationalism

He diqualifies the governments actions when it comes to Saab.

Head of the Automotive components group (FKG) Sven Åke Berglie also think that Minister of Enterprise Maud Olofsson shows uninterest and lacks skills of leadership.

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GM approved Antonov a long time ago — Swedish government caught unaware

First a tip of the hat to our friends over at SAABLOG-In who covered the recent statements made by the representative of one of the largest unions among Saab’s workers.

According to various sources knowledgeable, there is no doubt about the approval by GM of Vladimir Antonov. We demand so aggressively that the government and GM put pressure on the EIB to allow Mr Antonov able to return to the capital of Saab.

— Mr Stefan Löfven, Chairman of IF Metall

Meanwhile, the prime minister claims that it is left up to NDO to approve Antonov. A statement which is not met with favorable words from Carlström, the Swedish spokesperson for Antonov.

NDO approved Antonov eight weeks ago

— Lars Carlström

TTela reports the prime minister will turn against anyone who wants to short-circuit the approval process of Antonov.

Personally I would like to see the PM fight as hard to keep jobs. I have never before seen a politician so keen to look a gift horse in the mouth (or other orifices of the body). In my opinion, the government should reimburse Saab for the costs of this delay. If they want to stay out of running an automobile manufacturer as they say, then they should not meddle in the ownership question in the first place.

Robert Collin Calls Out Reinfeldt

Friend to SaabsUnited Robert Colin of Aftonbladet has written a very to the point and worthwhile summary of how the politicians at the top of the Swedish government reacted to the news of Saab’s troubles yesterday. Usually I leave the Swedish media or government rants to Tim as I’m American, but I can plainly see all the way from over here just how poorly they’ve handled this situation. I love Sweden– the history, the design heritage, the culture, and most of all the people. But right now, I’m not so in love with the ministers that run the place. For all those of you who live in Sweden, please bookmark this article so the next time that election cycles come around, you can remember how Prime Minister Reinfeldt feels about Saab and vote accordingly to elect politicians who value the Swedish auto industry.

Full English translation after the break.

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(Another) open letter to Fredrik Reinfeldt and anyone else in the Swedish Government who’ll listen

Dear Mr Reinfeldt,
This week has been a disaster for Saab, the Swedish automotive industry and potentially it may prove to have been a disaster for you politically as well.
I should know. When I’m not writing about Saabs, I’m involved 9-to-5 in the risk management arena and right now, what you’re facing in western Sweden is a great big supersized American serving of “not good”. And none of it will be fixed by windfarms or any other green pipe dreams if this thing goes south.
If and when the 5-figure number of people potentially affected by a Saab closure hit the unemployment lines, there’s not a single policy in your armory that’ll help. Philosophy doesn’t put food on the table, Mr Reinfeldt.
But it’s not too late.
I read a story on Bloomberg this morning with some distress:

The Swedish government is not preparing to relax the rules of state rescue loans to provide funding for Saab Automobile AB, a government official said.
Saab, whose future may be decided by owner General Motors Co. next week, has asked the Swedish government to make as much as 5 billion kronor ($717 million) available in emergency loans, and to inform GM of this before a board meeting on Dec. 1. A government delegation will travel to the U.S. for talks with GM before the meeting.
Sweden is unlikely to relax its rules, Hans Pettersson, a deputy director at Sweden’s Enterprise Ministry who will be part of the group visiting GM, said in a telephone interview today.
Saab was one of several brands the U.S. carmaker planned to unload to focus on its restructuring after emerging from bankruptcy. GM may shut Saab after a sale to sports-car maker Koenigsegg Group AB failed. GM could also decide to keep Saab.
“It’s easy to propose things, but unfortunately it’s not so easy to carry them out,” Pettersson said. “We are not preparing right now for a new parliamentary decision. That the parliament would make a decision by Tuesday is not very likely.”
A decision by the Swedish legislature is necessary to relax rules which stipulate that loans must be repaid in six months — a condition Saab and others have criticized as unrealistic.

Personally, I’m hopeful that a deal can be struck where Saab doesn’t need support from your government in order to transfer to a new owner. I hope they get that support from GM, who could relax their self-imposed December 31 deadline a little in the interests of success. But if a strong owner is found and some help is needed, then my question is this – why wouldn’t you do what you can to help make that a reality?

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