Minister Reported for Slow Uptake of Crisis Money for Car Industry
The Minister of Trade and Enterprise, Maud Olofsson, has been reported to the parliamentary committee on the constitution for her handling of a 3,8 billion US dollars support scheme for the car industry. Only a fraction of the money has been used. Meanwhile several suppliers have gone bust or moved abroad, according to the tabloid Aftonbladet.
"The question is if the government even had the intention of using the money," Tomas Eneroth, the Social Democrats spokesperson on trade and industry, tells Aftonbladet.
According to Eneroth, the Swedish Government has been one of the most passive governments in Europe, putting the Swedish suppliers in the car industry in a weak position now that the economy is turning upwards again.
The support scheme were supposed to allow loans for suppliers in the car industry, but Eneroth says that the rules attached to these loans made them useless for companies in acute crisis. Among others the loans were supposed to be paid back within half a year.
The support scheme was designed in December 2008 and according to the Green Party MP Karin Svensson Smith, it was "rushed through parliament" so that the money quickly could be made available to the Swedish car industry. "But only a fraction of the money has so far been used," says Svensson Smith, who has reported the Minister to the Parliamentary Constitution Committee.