A new study from Transparency International, TI, shows that 92 per cent of Swedes state that business leaders in the country are corrupt to varying degrees, and 15 per cent believe that all or most of business leaders are corrupt. Compared to previous surveys mistrust has grown and business leaders now make up the group Swedes have least trust in when it comes to corruption.
It is most likely recent high-profile corruption scandals that have led to mistrust, says Johan Mörck, from Transparency International Sweden.
Just 6% of Sweden’s business leaders have confidence in Stefan Löfven, according to a DI/Ipsos poll published last week. Despite this, the PM says he has a good relationship with the business community. Admitting that growth has been curbed by the shortage of housing and outdated infrastructure, the PM is convinced the government is addressing the problem with its autumn budget bill and future investment. Suggesting that the discontent among business leaders has to do with taxation, Stefan Löfven appears unrepentant about recent tax hikes: “I know these issues are important. But, we may have different views about certain tax issues,” he told Dagens Industri.
A number of employer organisations, including the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Almega and the Swedish Federation of Business Owners, have been interacting with the Sweden Democrats (SD) in a bid to influence policy in a direction favourable to their members.
The issue is sensitive, and many businesses are unwilling to comment. However, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg tells Dagens Industri (DI) that SD officials have visited the company, but that this was on the initiative of the party, while entrepreneur Dan Olofsson tells the paper he believes that the business world should talk to all parties.
Apparently, one of the issues under discussion has been profit-making in the welfare sector. Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt has reacted furiously to the news, accusing risk capitalists of trying to rescue profits with the help of a racist party.