Swedish parliament's migration talks collapse

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Swedish parliament's migration talks collapse
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (L) and Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson, pictured during a parliamentary debate. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Talks between Sweden's major political parties over a new migration law have broken down.


All Sweden's major parties have agreed that migration law needs an overhaul, and last year a Migration Committee, with representatives from all eight parliamentary parties, was set up to explore exactly how this should be done.

Recently talks have been taking place between the ruling Social Democrats and four right-of-centre opposition parties: the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Centre and Liberal parties.

The Social Democrats' junior coalition partner, the Green Party, has not been involved – something that has caused tension within the government.

Now, the Moderate Party's spokesperson for migration party says the five-way talks have collapsed.

"It's abundantly clear that the Social Democrats chose the Green Party over a sustainable, realistic migration policy. It's been made clear that the Social Democrats can't even stand behind a target which would mean reduced migration to Sweden compared with today," the Moderate Party's Maria Malmer Stenergard told the TT newswire.


The proposal for a limit on how many asylum seekers and refugees can enter Sweden each year was one of the plans the Green Party criticised when news of the five-way talks emerged last week.

Malmer Stenergard said that the Social Democrats' proposed targets would have meant the same level of migration to Sweden as is the case today, and blamed the centre-left ruling party for the breakdown in the talks. She said the government had sided with the Green Party over the possibility of a deal.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven however said it was the Moderates who refused to compromise, saying his party "regretted" the failure to reach an agreement. 

The Migration Committee, with representatives from all eight parties in Sweden's parliament, is nevertheless set to meet on Tuesday when it expected to put forward proposals for a new migration policy. It will then be up to the political parties to decide whether or not to support the proposals. 


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