Greens call for 35-hour working week

The Green Party voted at its annual congress on Saturday to include demands for a 35-hour work week in its manifesto for this September’s general election.

Greens call for 35-hour working week

The party’s governing board had left the issue vague, arguing only for a shorter working week, but delegates in attendance pushed through a concrete proposal to limit the amount of time spent at work.

Board member openly opposed the move in a debate preceding the vote, arguing the cost to the exchequer would be excessive and would undermine further investments in the welfare system.

But the party’s dual spokespersons, Peter Eriksson and Maria Wetterstrand, rejected the notion that the vote represented a defeat for the party leadership.

“It’s exactly what we’ve proposed and the only question is why we didn’t include it in the first place,” said Wetterstrand.

By way of explanation for the omission, she added that calls for a 35-hour working week could seem unclear in light of the fact that the party’s long-term goal remains to legislate for a 30-hour working week.

Wetterstrand also underlined that the first step in the proposed reform would provide support for parents with young children wishing to cut their working hours on a temporary basis.

The party also voted in favour of introducing an amnesty for illegal immigrants, reiterated its opposition to joining the eurozone, and called for the EU to become more democratic and less centralized.

With the Greens seeking to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the Left Party, the heads of both coalition partners put in an appearance at the congress on Sunday morning.

Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin received a standing ovation when she and Left Party chief Lars Ohly took to the stage in Uppsala.

“When I look at our congress, yours, and the Left Party’s, I see hope for the future, belief in the future and willpower And we dare to say what we want ahead of the election,” said Sahlin.

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‘Half a billion kronor to make Sweden 80 percent food self-sufficient’: Deputy PM

Sweden’s Green Party wants to invest heavily in increased food security and organic farming, says Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin.

'Half a billion kronor to make Sweden 80 percent food self-sufficient': Deputy PM
“This is something we must take seriously, researchers have alarmingly warned us about it," Says Lövin. Vilhelm Stokstad / TT

Sweden’s Green Party is calling for an investment of half a billion kronor to take the country’s self-sufficiency rate up from the current 50 percent to 80 percent.

“We must ensure that Sweden can become more self-sufficient, in part but not exclusively, through increased organic food production,” stated Lövin, who's also Minister for International Development, Cooperation and Climate.

The Green Party’s proposal comes at a time when record temperatures in several parts of the world and drought in Sweden shed light on how climate change is already here, the Deputy Prime Minister argued.

“This is something we must take seriously, researchers have alarmingly warned us about it.

“We have to prepare ourselves for the fact that we cannot import 50 percent of all the food we eat and make sure we have a farm network that works for us in the future,”

Sweden’s Green Party proposes that a parliamentary inquiry be appointed with the task of achieving the 80 percent self-supply goal.

They’ve also proposed that funds for this shift towards organic farming be doubled and agricultural land for these purposes be increased to 40 percent.

The Green Party also wants to increase support for Swedish-produced feed and reduce dependence on imported fertilizers.