Liberals open to Green support to block far-right

Liberal party leader Jan Björklund has opened up the possibility of cooperatiing with the Green party if the far-right Sweden Democrats garnered enough votes to hold the balance of power after the 2010 election.

“Whichever government alternative that emerges that does not have its own majority will be forced into compromises with other parties,” Björklund told Sveriges Radio’s Ekot news programme.

“We will not cooperate with the Sweden Democrats,” he declared.

That Björklund names the Green party as a prospective government partner is due to the fact that it “is not a socialist party.”

Green party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand said during the week that the party would consider cooperating with the centre-right Alliance coalition parties if the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats gained parliamentary seats.

“If we are bigger than the others then it is logical that the Centre party and the Liberal party open up to the possibility of discussions with us,” she told Aftonbladet.

The Sweden Democrats have gained ground in the opinion polls lately and currently enjoy the support of slightly more than the 4 percent required to claim parliamentary seats.

The party suffered a setback on Thursday however as the head of its local chapter in Falkenberg, Lars-Erik Persson, quit the party after the publication of an opinion article by party leader Jimmie Åkesson in which he described Islam as “the greatest threat to Sweden since World War 11.”

“I don’t like that he went after Muslims as a group. I have several Muslim employees at my job and I think they’re really talented and well-mannered. You can’t just lump everyone together,” Persson told TV4’s local affiliate in Halland.

Åkesson’s opinion piece led to him being reported to the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern – JK) for agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrupp).

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