• Sweden edition
 
Reinfeldt and Juholt spar in first debate

Reinfeldt and Juholt spar in first debate

Published: 15 Jun 2011 12:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jun 2011 21:43 GMT+02:00

The leaders of Sweden’s two largest political parties clashed for the first time on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt warning that pressure from opposition parties on the right and left were pushing his minority government towards crisis.

Reinfeldt head of the Moderate Party, started off the discussions by referring to recent surveys showing that Sweden is one of the healthiest economies in Europe today.

“This is the Sweden we see developing before us. 120,000 newly employed in a year, maybe 300,000 new jobs by 2015,” he said.

According to Reinfeldt the opportunities to keep Sweden together and force back societal problems are increasing.

“If we just develop and nurture our way of working, there are great opportunities around the corner,” he said.

And important tasks are lying in wait for the government within education and labour market policies, he maintained.

Reinfeldt also took aim at the tactics of the far-right Sweden Democrats.

"If you are not prepared to take responsibility for Sweden together and in the long-term, you should not ruin it in the short-term through recklessness," he Sweden Democrat head Jimmie Åkesson.

Reinfeldt's centre-right coalition won a second mandate last September but fell two seats short of a majority in an election marked by the spectacular performance of the Sweden Democrats, which entered parliament for the first time, snagging 20 seats and the role of kingmaker.

The Sweden Democrats have since sided with the leftwing opposition Social Democrat, Green, and Left parties to defeat the government on a series of key votes, including on the sale of state-owned companies and a controversial back-to-work scheme for the unemployed.

"Our protection against having a parliamentary majority take over Sweden is the finance policy framework. It is the core of the government's power, to eliminate the possibilities of short-sighted, irresponsible majorities such as those Åkesson is pushing for," Reinfeldt said.

Reinfeldt also stressed the importance of having a policy framework to ensure that finances were in order and wanted to know if Håkan Juholt and the Social Democrats would respect these.

Juholt, who took over as the Social Democrats' leader in March and was participating in his first debate as party leader, became irritated that Reinfeldt was trying to “teach” him the importance of a having a fiscal policy framework .

Fredrik Reinfeldt has no business lecturing us Social Democrats on the economy. We invented the framework for fiscal policy, against your wishes. Of course we will stick to it,” he said in reposnse.

Reinfelst criticised Juholt for promising financial reforms in articles and interviews but Juholt answered that his party hadn’t proposed one suggestion that they couldn’t finance.

“But I have higher ambitions for Sweden than just passively lowering taxes,” he said.

The new spokesperson for the Green Party, Gustaf Fridolin, also addressed the other party leaders for the first time.

Backed by Lars Ohly of the Left Party, he chose to concentrate on the growing child poverty in Sweden.

Reinfeldt retorted that he in fact thought numbers showed a decline in children living in poor circumstances in Sweden since the 1990s.

He also said that the government already has increased benefits for families with more than one child and that a more generous housing benefit will be introduced this autumn.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:08 June 15, 2011 by Syftfel
I, admittedly, did not watch this debate. I was busy. Hence I can not go into detail of what was said. Based on what I know though from media reports, neither of these two gentlemen (well, one is a genetleman, the other a socialistic Ulbricht-style henchman-dictator) are fit to lead Sweden. The one on the right has failed Sweden. Royally! The other one would make a bad situation worse by trying to plagiarize a certain sewer rat, and steal more money from those who earn it, and donate it to the lazy ones who don't. Henceforth, it is my opinion that, no more debates should take place which include the Ulbricht wannabe. He should be dumped and frozen out. He does not hold valid opinions.
14:27 June 15, 2011 by Truthgate
Syftfel, you are right.
15:24 June 15, 2011 by Rick Methven
Syftfel right?

Yup further to the right than Adolf Hitler
15:54 June 15, 2011 by Syftfel
@methven: I'm sure Hitler would be crestfallen had he read my commentary, since I generally do not agree with a Hitleresque operations mode. He might have elevated you however to a higher level in his hierarchy, since your oppression of free speech, and selective racism, is legendary in this forum. But tell me something methven, why are people like you, and other leftist rats, always so quick to invoke "Reductio ad Hitlerum" every time you disgaree with someone? Can't we debate things on their own merit? Hitler has been dead for 66 years now.
16:21 June 15, 2011 by Great Scott
@Syftfel

I would just love to see you foaming at the mouth when you waffle on. I can just imagine you spitting all over the computer as you desperately look for those evil words your vocabulary is so full of.
16:39 June 15, 2011 by Syftfel
@Great Scott: And the same goes for you. Why can't we debate the issue. All you do is talk bout me(although I'm honored). Let's get back to the topic at hand, i.e. Juholt and his poorly masked attempts at increasing taxes, and introcucing confiscatory, palmeistic, totalitarian, socialism. That's the subject matter, not yours truly!
16:44 June 15, 2011 by Borilla
@Syftfel

"Ulbricht-style henchman-dictator"? And you wish "to debate things on their own merit"? It is apparently acceptable for you to vent your right-wing, knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk)pseudo-philosophy by calling people names but it is unacceptable to label yours for what it is. I would point out that, if you are going to call people names, you should do so more coherently than in the manner quoted above. As pointed out by Great Scott it is difficult to debate incoherence.
18:25 June 15, 2011 by Great Scott
@Syftfel

I don't know who's funnier you or the many on the right, who's looking like he doesn't know the answer to the man on the lefts question. Oh sorry did I saying "Left"? There I go again, I think I mentioned it once and I think I got away with it.
21:11 June 15, 2011 by swedejane
@Borilla

Excellent!!
21:11 June 15, 2011 by Iraniboy
Gustaf Fridolin is a good example that it is still possible be a politician with very high ethical values!
11:39 June 16, 2011 by glamshek
WHy is no Western Channel showing the yesterday's rally in support of Bashar Al Assad of Syria ? Strange...You can only watch it on Presstv.ir .......Its not good for BBC, CNN, SKY etc
11:46 June 16, 2011 by naimad
@Borilla! way to go.

@Syftfel Dude, you should really consider therapy for so much resentment you have going on there..

I do feel this article is a bit biased favoring Moderaterna though.
12:17 June 16, 2011 by miss79
yes syftel..i think u should get help
12:42 June 16, 2011 by muscle
ok...its always fun to read the comments... but today its awesome ... :P "the world against Syftfel" :D
14:27 June 16, 2011 by Syftfel
I'm deeply honored. And humbled. - Seems my message is touching a few raw nerves. But that's OK. There's nothing like a healthy exchange of ideas. Altough some would rather not see, or want others to see, diverging opinions. How long will it be before swedejane, Great Scott, and borilla demand that voices other than their own get silenced?
13:37 June 17, 2011 by flintis
Did'nt think the debate was fair, Reinfeldt should have refused to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man !!
00:31 June 18, 2011 by prince T
The PM is doing a good job and the other man comes accross to me as bully
Today's headlines
Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

729
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