• Sweden's news in English

Ministers take the train to counter opposition

TT/Vivian Tse · 4 May 2010, 18:42

Published: 04 May 2010 18:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The ministers, who also include Finance Minister Anders Borg and the leaders of the three smaller governing parties, are taking a train to Gothenburg to clarify the government's platform after the Red-Green opposition announced its economic policies on Monday.

Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund believes public opinion will favour the Alliance government now that the Red-Green coalition has presented its budget proposal.

"Let's get the election campaign started," he said. "Now there are two clear options: one for jobs and enterprise and one which wishes to increase subsidies. We will stop in several cities along the way and tell people about our vision for our platform."

A cabinet meeting was held on board the train during the trip. Björklund believes that it will be easier to reverse the government's gloomy opinion figures now that the Red-Greens have laid their cards on the table.

The four party leaders, Reinfeldt, Björklund, Maud Olofsson of the Centre Party and Göran Hägglund of the Christian Democrats, first went to Norrköping to take the city's famous tram and held a public hearing. The party leaders also participated in a joint appearance in Borås in the afternoon before arriving in Gothenburg. Some of the ministers on board were already in Södertälje, while others got off along the way.

At Stockholm's Central Station, party leaders met with demonstrators who protested that too little is being done to reduce youth unemployment. Employment Minister Sven Otto Littorin took the opportunity to criticize the opposition for proposing the reversal of a reduction in payroll taxes for young people.

Olofsson called the Red-Green proposal a "penalty tax" on the young.

"It dramatically reduces the opportunities young people have to find jobs," said Olofsson.

At a press conference on board the train, the Alliance government presented its own report on its efforts to fulfill election promises from 2006. According to the government, it has implemented 103 of its 131 manifesto promises. Another 23 are being implemented, while five have not yet been met.

Among the five are abolishing compulsory military service, reducing the maximum rate for luxury taxes and transferring the tax cost of road traffic injuries to motor vehicle insurance.

Story continues below…

Olofsson gave herself and the government high marks.

"We have carried out what we promised, we have accomplished what we wanted to achieve, but there is more to do," she said, referring to the conservative alliance's upcoming election manifesto in mid-August, when its new proposals will be presented.

In order to show the differences between them and the Red-Green opposition, the four party leaders also singled out nine campaign promises of what they would not do. For example, they will not introduce a kilometre tax on heavy traffic nor a quota on parental leave, as well as make it more expensive to hire young people, they said.

Related links:

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:56 May 5, 2010 by Jan M
The Opposition announce spending plans for the rail system and then the Government decides to conduct their business on a train. If the Opposition announced spending on cycle lanes would the Government meet up on unicycles? Pathetic. The only message it sends is if you want a bunch of people who can think for themselves and not be swayed by the Opposition then this lot aren't it. To compound that by giving themselves top marks is even more ridiculous. I hope they're proposing that pupils will be able to write their own reports and then simply get the teachers to sign them off in future to cut down on admin. Sad, sad, sad.
14:09 May 5, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Jan, I think this rail tour of Sweden, involving 14 busy ministers, was oganised many months ago, and certainly not the spontaneous event you seem to think it was.
18:49 May 5, 2010 by Harry Lagman
Why are they all travelling on the same train?

What happens if it's in an accident and they all get killed?

Clearly these people do not even read the news about what happened in Poland recently.

The Swedish government does not seem to have heard two important words: "risk management".
23:07 May 5, 2010 by wxman
Politicians in all nations are a bunch of showboating, substance-lacking assclowns. I'm disgusted with the lot of them.
Today's headlines
Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available