• Sweden edition
 
Economy and the Left dominate party debate

Economy and the Left dominate party debate

Published: 13 Oct 2008 09:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Oct 2008 09:57 GMT+02:00

The financial crisis and economic issues dominated the debate between the four centre-right Alliance party leaders and Mona Sahlin of the Social Democrats, Maria Wetterstrand of the Green Party, and Left Party leader Lars Ohly.

With two years left until Sweden’s next parliamentary election, the debate was the first of several planned debates and media appearances scheduled for the week ahead.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt entered Sunday's debate with strong poll numbers showing that 47 percent of voters had high confidence in his government’s management of the international financial crisis.

At the same time, 72 percent of respondents to the Synovate poll thought the government should cooperate across party lines in order to counteract financial concerns.

So far, the government hasn't indicated any plans for reaching out to the Social Democrats to help tackle the financial crisis.

Sahlin came off a tough week which included a humbling about-face after an announcement to exclude the Left Party from future discussions.

The announcement was met with a chorus of criticism both from within and outside of the party, and Sahlin wasn’t able to dodge the issue on Sunday night.

Ohly called last week’s episode irresponsible, but added that he hoped for continued cooperation with the other two opposition parties.

“I fully understand that the Social Democrats and the Green Party need to discuss their policies. But I’m here as a responsible opposition party,” said Ohly.

And Green Party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand’s refusal to directly answer whether her party was interested in governing with the Left Party prompted a pointed response from the Prime Minister.

“Whoever understood something can call a friend,” he said.

Nevertheless, Sahlin did her best to assure the governing parties and the viewing public that there will be a credible alternative to the Alliance at the next election.

“I’m trying to create a strong coalition government to replace these four [parties]. We and the Green Party have already begun cooperating and continue to talk with the Left Party,” she said.

And when it came to the issue of unemployment, the three opposition parties did their best to present a united front.

“I agree with Lars Ohly,” said Sahlin as part of an effort by the three opposition parties to argue that the government had added to people’s worries about the struggling economy through raising unemployment insurance fund premiums and lowering payouts.

The Alliance party leaders responded by arguing that the opposition’s plans to raise taxes on companies and wage earners would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.

They then tried to steer the conversation away from a defence of past reforms and instead draw attention to the Alliance’s job creation efforts.

“We’ve changed what we had before to a policy which makes it profitable to work. That applies both in good and in bad times,” said Reinfeldt.

Centre-party leader Maud Olofsson added that the opposition’s focus on unemployment insurance was misleading.

“You’re tricking the voters into believing that a-kassa is the only security,” she said.

There were also differences in approach to dealing with the wave of downsizings which has swept across Sweden in recent weeks.

While Sahlin advocated for targeted support to those who have recently lost their jobs, such as job retraining and increased employment insurance, Olofsson stressed the importance of changing Sweden’s business climate to create more jobs.

“But what help is it to those losing their jobs at Volvo that those who remain end up with lower taxes,” countered Sahlin.

While agreeing that the current economic situation was serious, the Alliance parties maintained that it wasn’t enough to justify raising unemployment insurance payments.

“We’re going to use our resources to that people can work,” said Christian Democratic leader Göran Hägglund.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

LIVE: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats is revealing its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

745
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se