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Alliance in show of unity

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12:58 CET+01:00
The four parties of Sweden's centre-right opposition have inaugurated their first joint convention with a show of unity from the party leaders. Moderate leader and prime ministerial candidate Fredrik Reinfeldt kicked off the gathering by attacking the Social Democrats for not saying how they would form a government after the election.

Nearly 300 delegates from the Moderate Party, the Liberals, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats are gathered in Stockholm's Norra Latin conference centre.

The conference opened to the sound of Abba music blasting from loudspeakers. Reinfeldt and the other party leaders were welcomed onto the stage by a standing ovation from the hall.

The two-day convention will discuss policy proposals from the Alliance's joint working groups. These proposals for joint policies in six key areas are intended to form the basis of a joint election manifesto for September's general electionn.

Another purpose of the convention is to be a show of unity.

“Those who have the most fun win, and we four have a pretty good time together,” said Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson.

Reinfeldt was the first of the party leaders to speak. He said that all four parties were important for the alliance, and praised the Centre Party's enthusiasm for decentralisation, the Liberals' work on integration issues and the Christian Democrats' campaigns to improve conditions for families and the elderly.

Reinfeldt made it clear that the Alliance's reforms would not be made overnight, and said that the public finances could not be put at risk.

“The Alliance wants to do a lot of things, but we have to be clear that there will not be room for everything,” he said.

“An Alliance government will provide security, but our message is that it will also provide something new – an improvement.”

Reinfeldt claimed that the Alliance was the only clear alternative to form the next government.

“What is the alternative? Three parties with very disparate ideas,” he said.

The Moderate leader slammed the Social Democrats for prioritising social benefits over jobs. He also laid into the Greens for believing that people work too much, and the Left Party for wanting to raise taxes and abolish the right of private ownership.

“A vote for Göran Persson gives more influence to Lars Ohly. I don't know what Ohly is going to demand, but I know it's going to be wretched.”

TT/The Local

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