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Reinfeldt promises jobs agenda for election

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Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
12:20 CEST+02:00
The final parliamentary debate before September's elections kicked off on Wednesday morning, with Prime Minister Reinfeldt saying that jobs would be the focus of the election.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that the government's goal was to increase the work force by 350,000 people for 2020, a leap that would take Sweden's working population to five million.
 
He also probed the opposition about when they would finally reveal their policies and their plans for how they would construct the government if they were to win the elections in September. 
 
Social Democrat parliamentary leader Mikael Damberg, speaking for his party as chairman Stefan Löfven is not an MP, said the current government had its priorities mixed up.
 
"The prime minister is tone deaf and can't hear what the Swedish public is saying," he said. "You've prioritized job taxes instead of focusing on schools."
 
Schooling was a hot topic during the debate, with the Green Party's Gustav Fridolin also taking the chance to put pressure on Reinfeldt. He reasoned that the "real challenge" was getting teachers to spend more time working with pupils. 
 

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The Swedish school system has generated headline after headline in Sweden since December, when the international Pisa rankings saw Sweden's 15-year-olds drop below the OECD average in maths, reading comprehension, and natural sciences. Earlier this month, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported that the students were simply "too tired" to perform in the tests due to an overly gruelling schedule.
 
Wednesday's debate marked the last of its kind before the elections this year.

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