• Sweden edition
 
Reinfeldt and Löfven lock horns in second debate

Reinfeldt and Löfven lock horns in second debate

Published: 07 Oct 2013 08:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2013 08:12 GMT+02:00

Fredrik Reinfeldt and Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven didn't hold back in their second face-to-face debate on Sunday night, tackling unemployment, taxes, and schooling in what some labelled the most heated debate in years.

Jobs, taxes, and schools were the main themes of Sunday night's debate, broadcast live on Sveriges Television (SVT). The first half of the debate held the majority of the action, in what the Dagens Nyheter newspaper called "the most heated debate in several years".

Prime Minister Reinfeldt opened the debate by referring to his government's plans for a fifth round of income-tax reductions, stating that "if people get to keep more of their salary, then the will and the drive to work will be higher".

Löfven, who placed unemployment levels highest up his agenda, was unimpressed.

"I hate unemployment," he said. "I will ensure that every council of state and every authority head gets asked about how they can contribute (to creating more jobs," he responded.

Reinfeldt, whose four-party centre-right coalition is hoping for a third election victory in September 2014, responded that unemployment isn't his biggest concern.

"I learned to hate something even worse, that is being an outsider," he said, adding that such people are often neglected.

Löfven didn't let the unemployment issue drop, however.

"We have a higher unemployment level than when you took office. You can't escape that," he replied.

Next on the agenda was taxes, with Löfven explaining that his party believed it was "fair" to lower taxes for pensioners, stating that "our simple argument is that pension is deferred pay"

Reinfeldt countered by calling Löfven's tax policies a mess.

"Stefan Löfven is against all tax cuts until they are applied. But you'll never lower taxes for ordinary people," he said.

Löfven countered by accusing the PM of lowering taxes with "borrowed money" - a reference to the government's recently unveiled autumn budget, which caused raised eyebrows also in the country's conservative press.

Another hot topic was schooling. Education Minister Jan Björklund, taking part in the debate as the leader of The Liberals (Folkpartiet), claimed that school results had continually dropped for 20 years because of the mess from the last Social Democrat government's actions still being cleaned up.

Löfven retorted that perhaps the statistics had something to do with the fact that Björklund had been the longest sitting education minister in Sweden since primary education (grundskola) was introduced in 1962.

At the close, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition were pleased with their respective efforts in the debate.

"This was a truly good debate, it was the beginning of a long election year where we are going to show that we are focusing on growth, which will get the economy to grow," Reinfeldt told reporters after.

Swedes will go to the polls on September 14th, 2014.

TT/The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
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
Advertisement:
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
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
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 »

719
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