Reinfeldt: ‘Dark clouds over the economy’

Reinfeldt: 'Dark clouds over the economy'
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt forecast imminent dark clouds over the Swedish economy and promised action in his summer speech while opposition leader Mona Sahlin went on the attack.

Reinfeldt underlined in his traditional summer speech to several hundred residents of the Stockholm island of Vaxholm that the government is not afraid of the metaphorical bad weather heading for the Swedish economy.

The government is poised to unveil three packages of reforms in the autumn budget.

“I had thought about beginning my speech by saying ‘Dark clouds are building over the Swedish economy’, and draw a comparison with the bad weather forecast. But the blue is resilient,” said Reinfeldt and drew rounds of applause when he gazed purposefully into the clear blue skies over Vaxholm.

Reinfeldt underlined that the government’s priority remains on jobs and the focus of the autumn budget will be enterprise, employment and households. A third program of tax revision will be included giving the highly-taxed Swedes relief of a total of 15 million kronor ($2.4 million).

In addition more investment will be made in primary education, psychiatry, infrastructure and research.

Meanwhile on Södermalm in the centre of Stockholm, opposition Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin took the chance to attack the government in front of a crowd of around 1,000 people.

“The government says only that it is the international economic cycle which has caused the problems and pretends that domestic policy presents no opportunities. Government Reinfeldt could have gained from, strengthened and extended the economic boom,” she said in her speech.

Mona Sahlin’s speech addressed the recent debate around the FRA law, and she presented a new Social Democrat environment policy. Sahlin pledged to invest in railways and high-speed trains between the major cities, to break Sweden’s ‘oil dependence’ and cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020.

But the biggest cheers of the day were reserved for when Sahlin promised to reverse government unemployment insurance reforms and when firing a salvo at the government.

“I can not think of anything that this government has done which has made Sweden better or fairer in any area,” Sahlin said to the assembled media after her speech.