Major parties fear Junilistan 2006 decision

Tuesday's Svenska Dagbladet revealed that the Junilistan group - created in February to fight June's EU election - are threatening to form a Swedish political party to stand at the Swedish election in 2006 "if there's no referendum on the EU's constitution".

In the EU election Junilistan came from nowhere to pick up over 14% of the vote and three of Sweden’s nineteen seats in the European Parliament.

So this is not something the major parties are taking lightly. DN chose to put more emphasis on the centre-right Moderate party, who, clearly afraid of having their vote split, are predicting doom, gloom and chaos “if a one-issue party takes part in the general election in 2006.”

According to DN, Nils Lundgren, Chairman of Junilistan, believes there’s “a lot of internal pressure for the ‘party’ to take part in the forthcoming election” because parliament has not firmly taken a position on the EU constitution.

But SvD threw cold water on any idea of the group starting a Swedish political party when they revealed that only 162 out of 1000 sympathizers said ‘Yes’ to the idea. Well, almost. Actually, only 271 of the 1000 chose to answer that particular question. The others let their silence do the talking.

Nevertheless, this week’s political shenanigans, as SvD pointed out, is Junilistan’s way of putting the squeeze on the parliamentary parties: they want them to make a decision sooner rather than later about whether or not there’ll be a referendum on the EU constitution.

“There isn’t any real discussion about starting a political party at the moment,” Nils Lundgren told SvD.

But when he met the press on Monday he was hedging his bets: “We have to think about it in a number of years,” he said.

That’s not necessarily the end of the story, though. Birgitta Swedenborg, who’s on the board of Junilistan, put the cat among the pigeons, when she spoke to SvD later in the week.

“Personally, I think the idea that we take part in a general election [as a political party] will become even more pressing if no form of referendum takes place on the EU constitution,” she said.

Already capable of contradicting each other in public, Junilistan seems ideally suited to parliamentary life.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet

Jon Buscall