Critics: Swedish-Brazil arms deal leaves taxpayers in risky situation
The Liberal party is critical that Brazil is receiving Swedish state money, in the form of loans, to buy weapons from other countries, reports Swedish Radio News.
The loans are part of a deal in which Brazil is buying 36 fighter jets JAS Gripen fighter jets from Sweden. The state-owned Swedish Export Credit Corporation is lending Brazil the money to buy the planes, along with approximately SEK 2 billion to finance weapons for the planes.
Thus far, Brazil is interested in buying weapons from South Africa, Germany and Israel, according to what international defense media have reported.
The Liberal Party's Allan Widman, chair of the Parliament's defense committee, says that in general, he does not like the idea of taxpayers standing as the guarantors for weapons exports, especially when Sweden is loaning money to Brazil so that Brazil can buy weapons from other countries, which he called "incomprehensible".
Widman said that it is risky for the Swedish public to act as guarantors for the defense industries of other countries. Bribery is a concern, for example, and one issue is whether the export credit corporation can keep an eye on money flowing between two countries that don't include Sweden.
But Sweden's Minister of Enterprise Mikael Damberg, of the ruling Social Democrat Party, defended the loans as part of the overall deal, saying that first of all, the deal is very important for Sweden, and also that Sweden does not manufacture all the equipment that the JAS can carry.
He also said that it is incredibly important to have a transparent system, and to execute careful follow-ups to the business deals.