Reuters International

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish police said on Wednesday it had arrested four people after environmental activists entered the prime minister's office building in central Stockholm, two of whom climbed onto a small roof to unfurl a banner.

"We have arrested two persons who used violence to get into the building," police spokeswoman Towe Hagg said, without giving details.

Police said a further two had gained access to a small roof above the main entrance to the Rosenbad building that houses the offices of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, but were later brought down and arrested.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed two activists holding a banner protesting Swedish state-owned Vattenfall's planned sale of its German coal assets, a controversial deal for which the governing Social Democrats and Greens have yet to give the final go-ahead.

Emma Orn, spokeswoman for a group of European environmentalists who remained at the scene following the arrests, said the text on the banner was: "We let the coal stay in the ground".

The Swedish government has said that they will decide whether to approve Vattenfall's sale of the lignite business, which many environmentalists want to see wound down rather than sold, by July 9.

(Reporting by Johan Sennero; editing Niklas Pollard)


 Reuters International