BERLIN/BRUSSELS/STOCKHOLM | | schweden

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/STOCKHOLM (Own report) - Officially neutral Sweden can be considered a "de facto member" of NATO, a Swedish foreign policy expert confirmed in a new German foreign policy periodical. Last fall's large maneuver in Sweden sent a clear "message" that the country's neutrality has "de facto been suspended," completely changing the entire military "map" of the Baltic region "to NATO's advantage." In fact, back already in the 1990s, Sweden had begun to build links to the western war alliance; crucial decisions had been taken already before the Ukraine conflict's escalation and Crimea's integration into the Russian Federation. The Bundeswehr is heavily involved in integrating the Swedish armed forces into NATO's structures, focusing on naval cooperation. This cooperation is aiming at including the Swedish military into NATO's naval operations. The cooperation of the naval forces is not limited to NATO's framework, but may also be within that of the EU. more…

MUNICH/WOLF CASTLE/STOCKHOLM/BERLIN | | schweden

MUNICH/WOLF CASTLE/STOCKHOLM/BERLIN (Own report) - The German MAN Corp.'s takeover of the Swedish Scania truck manufacturer has clouded the intergovernmental relations. MAN proceeded with "unusually crude" methods, deplores Leif Oestling, chairman of the board of Scania and adds, Berlin only has respect for large, "but not for small nations". This is reminiscent of "methods like in the Second World War". The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has declared the defense against the German MAN Corp. to be government policy. He hopes, "that this crown jewel of Swedish industry remains in Swedish hands", announced Reinfeldt in Stockholm. Automobile production is one of the most important industrial branches of the country, Scania is the fourth largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks world-wide. The German MAN Corp. wants to take over Scania, in order to achieve the rank of European automotive industrial leader. If this succeeds, second place will be taken by another German Corporation: DaimlerChrysler, the former front runner. Both DaimlerChrysler and MAN are prominent in the European armaments business. German predominance in the continental truck industry is already overwhelming. more…

Master Plan

MUNICH/BERLIN/STOCKHOLM | | schweden

MUNICH/BERLIN/STOCKHOLM (Own report) - The ascent of the German MAN corporation, to become the largest European truck manufacturer, is encountering resistance. The management as well as the major shareholders of the Swedish producer of Scania utility vehicles reject the offer for a takeover by the Munich corporation. MAN would like to buy Scania for approximately 9.6 billion Euros. With this takeover, MAN is aiming not only at reinforcing its European position, but also at warding off international competitors. Newcomers from India and the People's Republic of China are contesting the German corporation's current markets. MAN's European-wide concentration of truck production is in the interest of the entire German logistics branch, which is largely controlling the continental road transport. In the case of MAN's expansion, the level of industrial standardization, being already felt, will be additionally expanded - along the lines of German directives. The Federal Ministry of Transport announced the adoption, by the end of 2007, of a "master plan for freight transport and logistics" to further strengthen the German position in the transport and logistics sector. more…