Greens warned not to break the bank

Green Party members have been warned by spokesman Peter Eriksson against voting through expensive new measures. Eriksson made the warning at the party's congress in Borås on Saturday.

Policies already in the Greens’ manifesto are expected to cost 38 billion kronor. The demand for a shorter working week is the most expensive of these.

“But I believe that we can manage this during the next parliament, given that it also requires unions and employers to agree,” he said.

Eriksson said he understood that delegates wanted more “nice measures”, for example to raise the basic state pension by 1,000 kronor a month instead of 1,000 kronor a year.

“But that would cost 12 billion. That’s a lot of money,” said Eriksson, and reminded the congress that such proposals would haunt the party for the entire election campaign.

Controversial questions including the EU, arms exports and the ‘citizen salary’ were expected to be debated late on Saturday evening.

In the draft manifesto, the party’s board has not explicitly written that Sweden should leave the EU, nor has it included a demand for a referendum on the EU constitution.

A clear majority in the congress committee examining the manifesto said it wanted Sweden to leave the EU. Eleven out of the 29 committee members also wanted the party to work for a binding referendum on whether Sweden should remain in the union during the next parliament.

A majority on the committee wanted the party to demand a referendum on the constitution.

Eriksson said before the congress that the party was as Eurosceptic as before, despite the fact that the demand to leave the EU was not included in the manifesto.

He also said that if Sweden if forced to make a decision about ratifying the constitution the Greens will demand a referendum.

Many at the grass roots suspect that the leadership is trying to soften the party’s Euroscepticism.