Opposition presses ahead with anti-nuke stance

Opposition presses ahead with anti-nuke stance
Sweden’s three opposition political parties plan on arriving at government energy talks on Thursday armed with a common position, the parties announced on Monday.

“We are in agreement that nuclear energy should be phased out and that we should generate surplus electricity through renewable sources,” said Green Party spokesperson Peter Eriksson to the TT news agency.

But the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Green Party have their doubts about the seriousness of the government’s invitation to discuss energy policy.

Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson has invited them to the meeting and insists she wants to get down to business.

At the same time, however, Moderate Party secretary Per Schlingmann has said that the conflict between the opposition parties on energy policy will be an important question in the coming years.

“It’s likely Schlingmann’s view that matters. They want this to be an election issue, and ideally for us,” said Left Party leader Lars Ohly.

“We have three days now to say whether we think the government’s accord is good. If it’s not serious, then we won’t work with it,” said Green Party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand.

Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin doubts the government’s earnestness and thinks the governing Alliance parties want to see friction on energy issues.

“I question whether their will is ture. I hope so, but I doubt it when I hear Per Schlingmann. They want to do everything possible not to discuss the jobs crisis during the election,” said Sahlin.

For the last two days, the opposition party leaders have sat and discussed the work of forming an alternative governing coalition. Five working groups and a planning group have been formed.

“It feels historic and remarkable to, for the first time, go forward with a common governing alternative,” said Sahlin.

The three overriding issues for the parties’ work include the jobs crisis, the welfare crisis, and the climate crisis.

The leaders of all three opposition political parties described the atmosphere of their talks as positive.

“There’s been a very positive mood with a lot of laughter. There is a spirit of openness from everyone with a clear desire to want to talk across party lines,” said Wetterstrand.

Ohly confessed that they weren’t in agreement on how detailed any common governing platform might be, but was certain that they would be eventually.

“There are issues, within foreign and security policy, for example, where we have much more in common than we think,” he said.