Andersson: Taxpayers tired of Nordea’s games

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has criticised the Danish government’s attempts to persuade Nordea to place its head office in Copenhagen. “It sounds as though the Danish government is prepared to compete by easing the rules on the finance market. That is a path that the Swedish government will not tread,” she said.

She has also berated CEO Casper von Koskull, saying “many taxpayers, who saved the bank in the 90s, are tired of Nordea’s games”.

Andersson critical of Moderates

Commenting the surplus in public finances, finance minister Magdalena Andersson (S) says the Swedish economy is strong and the tight fiscal policy has been effective, creating more than 120,000 jobs since the current government came to power. She does not want to increase public spending for the time being, but would like to prioritise job creation, welfare and the widening gap in society.

Referring to the current debate on defence spending, Andersson does not wish to promise any extra funding for the Armed Forces at present. She expresses surprise over the Moderates call for an increase in the defence budget this year, saying they had not included such a proposal in their shadow budget last autumn: “I have not been heard any analysis from them which explains why they have changed their minds. The Moderates must explain their behaviour, but I find it remarkable”.

Sweden unlikely to collect damages

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson (S) said in Dagens Nyheter on Thursday that the Ministry of Finance had begun to look at how many emissions-rigged Volkswagen cars had been incorrectly classed as green cars, to see if the government had paid out subsidies on false grounds. The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has also said it is analysing the matter to see if Sweden can claim damages of the carmaker.

However, green car classification is based solely on carbon emissions. In the case of the Volkswagen scandal, the diesel cars emit nitrogen dioxide, so there would appear to be very little opportunity for Sweden to pursue the case, says the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen).

Meanwhile, the European Investment Bank may ask Volkswagen to pay back loans equivalent to some SKr 17 billion. Much of the money has gone to research aimed at developing cleaner engines.