ANALYSIS: Löfven’s return as Swedish PM carries ‘high price’ for all

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ANALYSIS: Löfven’s return as Swedish PM carries ‘high price’ for all
A tentative deal to return Stefan Löfven to the PM's office has its critics on the right and left. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The four-party deal struck on Friday that would allow Stefan Löfven to remain Sweden’s prime minister will require serious concessions on all sides, Swedish media from across the political spectrum wrote on Saturday.


On Friday, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf confirmed that her party – together with the Green Party and Liberals – had struck a deal with the Social Democrats which would allow Löfven to stay on as prime minister.
As the Swedish media awaited formal confirmation of the deal, attention turned to analyzing the plan’s winners and losers. 
Svenska Dagbladet said the proposed deal would mark the end of the center-right Alliance, which consists of the Moderate Party, Liberal Party, Centre Party and the Christian Democrats. In an editorial entitled ‘The Alliance for Sweden (2004-2019)’, the centre-right outlet declared the tentative deal a clear victory for Löfven’s centre-left Social Democrats (S). 
“Although the S crowd cried crocodile tears when the settlement became known, very few of them are advocating for S to instead go into opposition. Power is still power,” its editors wrote. 
Svenska Dagbladet also wrote that the collapse of the Alliance can also be seen as a victory for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD). The Centre and Liberals refused to back a government made up of their centre-right allies, the Moderates and Christian Democrats, due to the fact it would rely on support from the far-right SD.
“Without SD’s presence, the Alliance probably would have survived. The Centre Party has chosen to give them a victory trophy,” the paper wrote. 
While the paper wrote that Centre and the Liberals could look forward to some of the right-of-centre policies they’ve championed, their policy gains will fall short of “what a united Alliance could have accomplished”.
The more left-leaning Aftonbladet also appeared to be skeptical of the deal. The paper's editors wrote that the Social Democrats would have to pay too large a price to stay in power because of the concessions demanded by Centre and the Liberals. 
Aftonbladet called the distribution of the parties’ varying priorities “lousy”, pointing to labour law reforms championed by C and L, a weakening of the a-kassa system and the abolishment of rent controls on new properties.
The centre-right Dagens Nyheter was more positive about the deal, saying that Lööf’s decision to instruct her party to abstain in a vote on Löfven as PM, thus offering its so-called ‘passive support’, was her best and only choice. The newspaper’s editorial board had previously predicted and expressed its support for the current deal. 
“If Lööf had chosen [Moderate leader Ulf] Kristersson [as PM], she would have received [Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie] Åkesson in the bargain. That was never imaginable," DN wrote. It pointed to the labour law and rental market reforms as clear wins for the centre-right parties. 
Göteborgs Posten, which also tilts to the centre-right, wrote that it was optimistic that the new government solution would be “somewhat better” than the previous Löfven government but cautioned that the new constellation was likely to be ineffective because contrary to the four parties’ attempt to present a somewhat united front, there is actually no middle-of-the-road solution but merely "a sprawling constellation with dramatic differences in ideology, whose ability to bring about crucial systemic changes will be very small".


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