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Introducing the Alliance

Introducing the Alliance

Published: 06 Sep 2010 11:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Sep 2010 11:36 GMT+02:00

The Alliance (Alliansen) coalition consists of four centre-right parties – the Moderates, Liberals (Folkpartiet), Centre, and Christian Democrats. Party leaders are current prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, education minister Jan Björklund, enterprise minister Maud Olofsson and social affairs minister Göran Hägglund, respectively.

The coalition has together formed the government since gaining the majority of parliamentary seats in the 2006 election.

History and ideology

The Alliance was formed as Alliance for Sweden (Allians för Sverige) by party leaders Fredrik Reinfeldt, Maud Olofsson, Lars Leijonborg and Göran Hägglund on August 30th 2004 with a declaration to work towards a viable centre-right government alternative to the centre-left Social Democrats, who had by then held power for 23 of the previous 26 years.

The 2006 election came to be defined by the concept of “Utanförskap” (Alienation). The Alliance regularly cited figures of up to 1.5 million Swedes living on the margins of the labour market and society, proposing to address the problem. When the votes were counted the Alliance parties had won 178 seats in parliament and the opposition parties 171.

2010 election platform

On August 26th, the Alliance presented its election manifesto entitled: A Sweden which sticks together (Ett Sverige som håller samman), with a focus on jobs with reform measures totalling 12.8 billion kronor ($1.72 billion).

Key points

*A fifth round of in-work tax credits

*Extending the right to work from 67 to 69-years-old

*Tax cuts for pensioners

*Reducing state ownership of Nordea, SBAB, and TeliaSonera but retaining Vattenfall

*Measures to tackle youth unemployment, such as apprenticeships

*Sales tax cut for restaurants

*Green car allowance of 40,000 kronor per vehicle for low-emission cars

Retention of the tax deduction for household services (RUT) and tax deductions for renovations on the home (ROT)

*Nine point program for “improved integration” focusing on jobs, language training, business start-up assistance, advice, and mentorship programmes

The Alliance parties are going to polls on their record of being the responsible alternative for Sweden's public finances.

Finance minister Anders Borg repeatedly emphasises the fact that Sweden has fared the financial crisis and subsequent recession better than many other EU countries but warns that caution remains with regard to the challenges that lie ahead both at home and abroad.

The Alliance, like the Red-Green opposition, is keen to emphasise that there are two clear alternatives available to voters on September 19th. They argue that while the centre-right parties offer a platform for jobs, the centre-left offer welfare.

To return to the election guide main page, click here.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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