Swedish business monitors Mideast after boycott call

Several Swedish companies Wednesday were monitoring media and other expressions of public sentiment in the Middle East after a list calling for a consumer boycott of some 100 Swedish companies was published on the internet.

Swedish business monitors Mideast after boycott call

Several Swedish companies Wednesday were monitoring media and other expressions of public sentiment in the Middle East after a list calling for a consumer boycott of some 100 Swedish companies was published on the internet.

The list was compiled by the US-based foundation SITE Institute in the wake of a controversy triggered by a Swedish artist's cartoon published a month ago in a Swedish regional newspaper.

The SITE Foundation said companies included clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz, Danish-Swedish food and dairy company Arla, Swiss- Swedish engineering group ABB, air carrier SAS as well as smaller entities.

ABB spokeswoman Christina Gunnarsson had "no comment" other than that the list was new to her and that ABB was following developments.

Arla spokesman Tobias Wahlen said the group was "monitoring developments" but security at its facilities in the Middle East has been high since the 1991 Gulf War.

Arla was also using its channels to convey the "values" the company stands for and "had not experienced any concrete threats," he said.

Security Manager Dick Malmlund of the Swedish Trade Federation that groups 13,500 member businesses, mainly in retail, said he had not been contacted by any companies over the matter.

Telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson's press manager Gilla Grip said Ericsson had "taken down corporate flags from facilities" in the Middle East and advised staff to maintain a low profile, including not wearing clothes with the company logo.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Muslim leaders have condemned the threats, calling for calm.

DPA

Last Mod: 19 Eylül 2007, 15:46
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