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Green fury over Alliance illegal immigrant stance

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Green fury over Alliance illegal immigrant stance
08:53 CET+01:00
The Green Party has threatened to walk away from an agreement with the centre-right Alliance government to cooperate on immigration policy over its stance toward illegal immigrants.

During a Wednesday night crisis meeting, the Greens decided they would abandon what was billed as an "historic" agreement with the centre-right Alliance government when it was forged in March 2011.

"If the government isn't ready to carry out the changes we've agreed to make, then we are no longer cooperating," Green Party spokesperson Gustav Fridolin told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The Green-Alliance immigration partnership has long been under strain, with the Greens charging the government has been slow to implement agreed-upon changes and Migration Minister Tobias Billström of the Moderate Party indicating he will push for a more restrictive asylum policy following the next elections.

Not only are the Greens upset by government support for a recent police crackdown on illegal immigrants, but they are also frustrated that the government refuses to budge in altering what it meant by "particularly distressing circumstances" ("särskilt ömmande omständigheter") necessary to allow an asylum seeker to stay in Sweden.

Wednesday's crisis meeting was called after Billström said the government isn't ready to change the definition of the term, according to DN.

The Greens said they are ready to abandon the cooperation if Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt fails to offer evidence the government has other plans than those indicated by Billström.

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