Saab's Gripen fighter jets

Investor CEO Criticises Government over Gripen

Börje Ekholm, CEO of Nordic based industrial holding company Investor, the largest shareholder in Saab Aviation, is not impressed with the Swedish government’s contribution to the Gripen sale.

“In many other countries governments play a more aggressive part in these deals. Maybe we could hope to have similar support here in Sweden”, he said to Swedish news agency TT.

Currently the French Dassault Rafaele plane is believed to be the favourite, in a deal which comprising 36 planes and worth billions of US Dollars. The French president Nicolas Sarkozy has played a large part in the sales pitch by making time for a state visit to Brazil. The Swedish delegation is headed by Swedish State Secretary for Defence, Håkan Jevrell.

Ekholm's views are backed up by voices among the Opposition's Social Democrats. But not everyone agrees with Ekholm’s critique. The CEO of Saab, Åke Svensson, is surprised at Ekholm’s comments.

“We have received very strong support from the government when it comes to Gripen and our exporting efforts. And I find it very hard to believe that we don’t really agree in this question – I need to speak to Börje Ekholm to see what it is he has actually said”, he told TT.  

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told TT that the government has played their part in the sale and that he does not think that it comes down to a state visit to close the deal.

“ In the end there are other factors which will determine if there will be a sale or not,” he said to TT.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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