Vattenfall plant -- no longer to be sold? (Photo: Matthias Rietschel/Scanpix)

Sales of state companies may be blocked

6:53 min

Despite parliamentary approval for selling more of Sweden’s state-owned companies, Sweden’s center-right coalition government now faces a second major defeat on this.

An opposition Social Democrats and the Greens proposal to block the sales has gotten support from the anti-immigration party the Sweden Democrats – eager to swing the balance of power in the Swedish Parliament.

After winning the last elections and getting another four years in office, the center-right coalition government is determined to continue its policy of privatization -– following steps already taken to sell off most of the nation’s pharmacies, much of the rail lines and alcohol production such as that well-known money-making Swedish vodka export, .

This time, the sales were to be the telecommunications giant, Telia Sonera, a bank, much of the post office and the giant power company Vattenfall.

With the coalition now in a minority position and with only a slight lead over the three main opposition parties – this delicate balance in parliament depends on the action of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats.

Both the government and the opposition have pledged not to rely on support from this maverick party blaming immigrants and refugees for any and all problems in Sweden – and each bristles when the rival camp gets this unsolicited support anyway and wins a parliamentary victory.

This is now the case with the new proposal from the Social Democrats and the Greens determined to stop the sale of more state companies. Publicly expressing fears that a Middle East state might buy up a Swedish state company, the Sweden Democrats have swung their crucial support behind the proposal.

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