• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Reinfeldt has wasted Sweden's surplus'

TT/The Local/dl · 15 Jan 2014, 10:17

Published: 15 Jan 2014 10:17 GMT+01:00

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt kicked off the debate by arguing that jobs would be the main issue facing voters when they go to the polls in September.

"That's our greatest societal challenge," he said, explaining that demands on the individual were constantly increasing.

He stated that 200,000 new jobs had been created since his centre-right coalition took power in 2006. Reinfeldt claimed his government had also brought Swedes higher salaries, better purchasing power, and improved finances at the same time as interest rates have remained low.

"Our policies have brought results," the Moderate Party leader said.

Heading into the election, Reinfeldt said he hoped to stress free trade, sound public finances, and education.

But Social Democrat parliamentary leader Mikael Damberg, speaking for his party as chairman Stefan Löfven is not an MP, pointed to several promises made by the Alliance coalition that he feels have yet to be fulfilled, including better schools and strong public finances.

"In only eight years, Reinfeldt has squandered everything he inherited from (former Social Democrat Prime Minister) Göran Persson twice over. From a surplus of 67 billion kronor ($1 billion) to a deficit of 87 billion," said Damberg.

He also criticized the government's manner of tallying jobs and jobs seekers.

"If one calculates unemployment by your methods, Spain would have lower unemployment than Sweden. That doesn't add up."

In his own speech, Damberg addressed the situation in Sweden's schools, which suffered an unprecedented drop in the OECD's most recent Pisa rankings.

"To succeed in turning Swedish schools around, we need new leadership and a new government that also makes Swedish schools an economic priority," he said.

Minority Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt agreed with Reinfeldt that jobs would be the biggest issue in upcoming elections, claiming the government had failed to tackle unemployment.

Sjöstedt in particular took issue with the practice of workers being fired and then reemployed via staffing firms, a practice brought into sharp relief recently by budget airline Norwegian.

"In Sweden, you can do that. Fire people and rehire them the next day. Why is that the case, Fredrik Reinfeldt?" Sjöstedt asked.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, Åsa Romson of the Green Party slammed Reinfeldt for ignoring one issue entirely.

"It's the climate and environmental devastation. Clearly it's not something that keeps Reinfeldt awake at night," she said.

Romson wondered why figures from state-owned energy giant Vattenfall pointed to an increased use of coal, despite a promise to the contrary made by the government during the visit of US President Barack Obama.

"How have you managed to break your promise to Obama and sabotage EU environmental policy with increased use of goal?" Romson asked before taking issue with Reinfeldt's claims about Sweden's emissions.

"It's funny that you say we've reduced our emissions at the same time that we've decided to release more abroad. Vattenfall's emissions are in Germany."

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Long-term damage seen from brain injuries: Swedish study
A model of the human brain. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A study carried out in Sweden suggests that youths who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to experience long-term psychological and social problems.

The Local List
30 Swedish movies you must see before you die
Thomas Hedegran and Rolf Lassgård in thriller The Hunters. Photo: Photo: Per Pettersson/TT

Film buff Christian Ekvall picks out 30 definitive Swedish movies you must see to understand the soul of the country's cinema.

Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available