Sweden has delivered a massive blow to a French company involved in building light rail and travel infrastructure between illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine
"Diakonia Press Statement
Stockholm, 20 January 2009
Today the Stockholm community council in Sweden announced that the
French company Veolia who has been the current operator at the Subway's
in Stockholm County for 10 years lost the contract to the
The contracts for the coming 8 years is worth 3,5 Billion EURO and has
been the biggest ongoing public contract procurement process in Europe.
Although the board for county's public transportation ensured the
decision was based on commercial factors the debate about Veolias
involvement in a controversial tramway project in Jerusalem (Jerusalem
light railway) has been intense in Swedish media.
The tramway connecting the Israeli west Jerusalem with illegal Israeli
settlements on occupied Palestinian territory has triggered discussions
about Veolia's ethical policy. Public protests against Veolia has
brought the attention to the dilemma of operating public services when
you at he same time are involved in politically controversial
As late as the day before the decision the community council received
lists with thousands of signatories from people demanding the county
council to choose an operator who should not be associated with
violations of international humanitarian law.
- This is clearly another sign of the importance for commercial actors
not to have their brand associated to unethical behaviour, in the case
of illegal settlements on occupied palestinian territory we can already
see a trend of international companies who are moving out their
operations from settlements, says Joakim Wohlfeil, at the Swedish
development organization Diakonia.
Diakonia is a Swedish Christian development organisation working
together with local partners for a sustainable change for the most
vulnerable people of the world
Diakonia Head Office (Sweden)
Policy Officer, Conflict and Justice
Mobile: + 46 (0) 705 15 61 45www.diakonia.se