The planned privatization or sale of parts of the Swedish energy group Vattenfall, Nuon’s parent company, has been cancelled. A narrow majority of the Swedish parliament voted against the Swedish cabinet’s sale plan on Wednesday.

With 172 votes against and 170 votes in favour, the sale of other Swedish state companies or majority interests has also been stopped by the Swedish parliament. These include telecom company TeliaSonera, airline SAS and the national postal service Posten Norden (PostNord).

The Swedish state is the principal or full owner of 57 companies with a total value of approximately 65 billion euros (SEK 620 billion). The government in Stockholm wanted to sell almost a third of that value (SEK 200 billion). Most MPs want to keep control and revenue from state interests for the Swedish people. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 16 March 2011)