Opposition parties to build coalition

Opposition parties to build coalition
Sweden’s opposition political parties held a Sunday afternoon press conference to announce plans for building a united coalition government following the 2010 Riksdag elections.

”We hope to be able to offer a just policy ahead of the 2010 election. We have been working together for a long time and are strengthened by our previous work together,” said Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin, according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

“Now we see a strong partnership which can take up the fight against the centre-right government.”

While the Social Democrats, Green Party, and Left Party each plan to campaign as individual parties in the run up to parliamentary elections in 2010, they have also agreed to work together to form a common governing platform.

The three parties will present a common economic policy proposal in the spring of 2010.

Previous progress on efforts by the three parties to work together had been held up by the Left Party’s refusal to accept rules governing the budget and state finances.

Sunday’s press conference indicated that the Left Party, which had been threatened with exclusion by the Social Democrats and the Greens from a future governing coalition, had made the necessary compromises to win back the confidence of the latter two parties.

“It feels really good to be able to offer an alternative to the Moderate-led government, said Left Party leader Lars Ohly, who also stressed that differences between the three parties remain, but that the disagreements no longer present an obstacle to working together.

“We aren’t changing our views but this is a price I’m prepared to pay,” said Ohly of his party’s decision to drop its opposition to maintaining a budget surplus and spending ceiling, as well as the independence of Sweden’s central bank.

The three parties said they will create five working groups before the end of the year with the goal of presenting the group’s results by the spring of 2010.

The working groups will include one focused on labour and the economy, an environmental group, a welfare group, an urban policy group designed to combat segregation, and a group tasked with managing foreign and security policy.

According to a joint statement released by the three parties, the findings of each group will also be analyzed for their effects on children and gender equity.

“Policies should stop the subordination of women and emphasize possibilities for women,” reads the statement.

“Every group will also be asked to bring forward suggestions which can combat the discrimination of people in society.”

The three parties also used Sunday’s press conference to unveil a package of measures designed to combat youth unemployment, including traineeships for public sector jobs, better job training for young people, and additional places in adult education programmes and vocational colleges.