• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
BREAKING
PM calls crisis talks as budget poised to fail
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romsen on Tuesday. Photo: TT

PM calls crisis talks as budget poised to fail

The Local · 2 Dec 2014, 16:25

Published: 02 Dec 2014 16:25 GMT+01:00

  • Sweden Democrats to vote for Alliance budget.
  • Prime Minister invites centre-right parties for emergency late-night talks.
  • Ex-foreign minister Bildt says "better for country" if government is defeated.
  • PM and opposition leaders: it's the other side's responsibility.
Following the Sweden Democrats' announcement, Löfven called the four party centre-right Alliance to talks on Tuesday evening. The Liberal Party's (Folkpartiet) press office later confirmed that all four parties would attend. Notably, the Left Party, which is currently supporting the government's budget, is not invited to the talks.
 
The announcement of the Sweden Democrats' move was made by the the party-owned newspaper Samtiden on Tuesday afternoon as journalists awaited an announcement at Sweden's Riksdag.
 
The move is bad news for the country's Social Democrat Prime Minister who has said he will quit if support from the Sweden Democrats means that the opposition budget proposal ends up getting more support than his own coalition government's financial plan.
 
Such a scenario could lead to a snap election just months after Sweden last went to the polls.
 
The Social Democrats are currently in coalition with the Green Party, following an election in September that toppled Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt's centre-right coalition after eight years in power.

Anna Kinberg Batra, effectively acting leader of the Moderates after Reinfeldt left the scene, appeared to pour cold water on the idea that her party would let the government’s budget pass.

“It’s not the opposition’s responsibility to pass the government’s budget,” she said shortly after the Sweden Democrats’ press conference.

Centre Party leader Annie Lööf echoed Kinberg Batra:

“It’s up to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to find a solution now,” she said, adding that the Alliance parties would vote for their own budget.

 
It is tradition in Swedish politics that the main opposition party or parties put forward a shadow budget to rival the government's own proposition.
 
On Wednesday one rival budget is being submitted by the four centre-right parties – the Alliance – that made up the previous coalition government in Sweden. The nationalist anti-immigration Sweden Democrats will submit another.
 
It is expected that the Sweden Democrats' budget will be rejected immediately but by voting for the Alliance's centre-right budget proposal in a second round of voting, the Alliance's package is likely to get more support than the government's budget. 
 
Speaking in Sweden's parliament on Tuesday, the acting leader for the Sweden Democrats Mattias Karlson said his party had been discriminated against by the political system and used his speech to push for immigration cuts in Sweden - a move that no other political party currently supports. He said that if the Alliance took power and submitted a budget that did not cut immigration, it would also vote against that budget. 
 
"We have to do this to get influence," added the nationalist party's finance spokesperson Oscar Sjöstedt.
 
The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats became third largest party in Sweden in September, scoring almost thirteen percent of the vote in a country famous for its egalitarian ideals.
 
The Social Democrats had no immediate formal response to the Sweden Democrats' decision. While Social Democrat supporters took to twitter to express concern about the budget crisis, Sweden's former Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt said that it would be "better for the country" if the government's budget was rejected. 
 

Acting Sweden Democrat leader Mattias Karlson. Photo: TT
 
Story continues below…
In a hastily-arranged press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the Alliance parties "bear a heavy responsibility."
 
"Are they prepared to cooperate with the government over the budget. Or are they prepared to govern with the support of the Sweden Democrats," he said.
 
The Sweden Democrat party's press secretary Martin Kinnunen told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Tuesday afternoon that nationalists had made their minds up about which way to vote a week ago, with absentee party leader Jimmie Åkesson having the final say. 
 
Åkesson is currently on extended sick leave and is not expected to return to the Swedish parliament until early next year. 
 
The budget vote will take place on Wednesday morning.
 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Stay out, the water's filthy! Germs ruin Swedes' swims
Seagulls only.

Fancy a dip? If so, you might want to keep your mouth shut.

Man kicked off flight from Sweden over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A flight from Stockholm was delayed on Thursday after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Homes
In pictures: Are Swedes falling in love with colour at last?
What happened to the Swedish greyscale? Photo: Linda Åhman

Antonia Wiklund of Houzz.se investigates why the Swedes are abandoning their sleek and clean interior design for vibrant colours.

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish cold poached salmon
Cold poached salmon. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Poached salmon is a Swedish summer classic. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Property
This castle: yours for the price of a tiny flat
Hägerstads Castle: a tumultuous history. Photo: Skeppsholmen Sotheby's International Realty.

It has turrets, is set on a lake and is just 2 hours from Stockholm. So why's it so cheap?

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,336
jobs available