Union Boss Slams Swedish Government

The Swedish government is the worst in Europe when it comes to saving its stricken car industry, that's according to the outgoing General Secretary of the International Metalworkers Federation, Marcello Malentacchi. The federation is currently gathering in Gothenburg for a congress. Malentacchi, who himself worked for Volvo in the past, says that the government isn't engaging in dialogue with the unions, contrary to tradition.

The blow to the Swedish government comes at the same time as Ford-owned Volvo Cars has announced it is intensifying talks with the Flemish government about a support for the former Swedish car brand. A company spokeswoman said Volvo chief executive Stephen Odell was to discuss potential guarantees from the Flemish government for loans from the European Investment Bank. Talks with the Swedish government about guarantees for an approved $US 266 million loan from the European Investment Bank were postponed earlier this month, pending a sale of the Swedish brand. The company's largest production plant is located in Flanders and employs around 3,800 staff. The mother company Ford Motor has said it is conducting a strategic review which could lead to a sale of Volvo Cars.

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