Swedish PM wants new talks to break deadlock

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Swedish PM wants new talks to break deadlock
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made the call before his Christmas speech. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has offered to make new concessions in order to win the support of the Centre and Liberal parties, just two days after they voted him down as next prime minister.


Löfven, who is currently serving as Sweden’s caretaker prime minister, made the call at a press conference ahead of his Christmas speech in the Social Democrat stronghold of Avesta. 
“We cannot let policy issues get in the way,” he said. “If all of the parties are not ready to compromise on policy, they will instead have to compromise on their fundamental values.
"We are are ready to do that, and I don’t believe any of the middle parties are ready to do that either.” 
Sweden’s politics remain in deadlock three months after September’s general election, with the leaders of the two biggest parties both since voted down by parliament as potential Prime Ministers. 
At the press conference, Löfven said he believed that the detailed discussions that his party held with the Centre and Liberal parties earlier this month could still form the basis of a future deal. 
“Those conversations we had, and the concrete negotiations we made, have established the groundwork for continuing, that’s my judgement,” he said. 
His call for compromise seemed to be aimed at his colleagues in the Social Democrats and the powerful unions that back the party, as well as to his negotiating partners in the two so-called “middle parties”. 
“We Social Democrats, together with the Centre Party, Liberal Party and Green Party, have a historical role to play,” he said. “We cannot let a few differences over policy get in the way. Instead we should take a common responsible for cohesion and democracy.” 
Löfven said he had already discussed the prospect of further talks with Andreas Norlén, speaker of the Swedish parliament. 
Löfven said he believed it would be possible to overcome the obstacles which led the Centre Party to leave the negotiations last Monday. 
“I see the possibility of reaching a solution,” he said, pointing out that the Social Democrats had now held six separate negotiating sessions with the Centre and Liberal Parties, with the final one continuing for 13 hours.


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