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Liberal Party flirts with the Greens

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Liberal Party flirts with the Greens
07:58 CEST+02:00
An invitation for the Green Party to join Sweden's governing centre-right Alliance coalition has left observers scratching their heads, after European Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson mentioned it as a possibility in a webcast interview.

"I think (the Green Party) could be a fresh alternative in the Alliance," Ohlsson said in the Expressen newspaper's Bar & Politik webcast, prompting wide eyes from host Niklas Svensson and a scattering of applause among the guests in the bar in central Stockholm.

Ohlsson said she had headed the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) youth wing at the same time as one of the two current Green Party spokespeople, Gustav Fridolin, was leader of his party's youth organization, and added she had many Green Party friends.

"Maybe, the voters will have to decide... we already cooperate on important issues such as migration and we have many things in common," she added.

She later downplayed the statement, saying it was not an official proposal but instead an attempt to steal minority opposition Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt's thunder after he mentioned potentially working with the Greens.

"It was just a reaction to Sjöstedt proposing to the Green Party. It was meant jokingly as the Left Party got quite a tepid response," Ohlsson told Expressen after the webcast wrapped up.

She said the Alliance as it stands - the Moderate Party alongside the Liberals, Christian Democrats and Centre Party - will head into the 2014 elections in an unchanged constellation but maintained that its cooperation with the Greens had worked swimmingly.

"I think it works excellently on topics such as labour migration, asylum policies, efforts to promote tolerance, but this was not an official invitation."

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