Swedish government withdraws bid to scrap rent controls on newbuilds

The government has retracted a proposal to change Sweden’s rental laws, after the bid sparked a historic, albeit brief, ousting of centre-left Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

Swedish government withdraws bid to scrap rent controls on newbuilds
Stefan Löfven returned as prime minister last week. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish news agency TT on Thursday that the government’s consultation document had been withdrawn because the joint proposal to scrap rent controls on certain newbuilds in Sweden would no longer be going ahead.

The proposal – which had been pushed through by the Social Democrat-Green coalition government’s partners in parliament, the Liberals and the Centre Party – sparked a row with the Left Party last month which eventually led to a no-confidence vote against Löfven.

After Löfven became the first prime minister in Swedish history to lose such a vote, the Centre Party dropped the demand in order to try to placate the Left Party and avoid the threat of a snap election.

Meanwhile, the Liberals acted on a previous pledge not to support Löfven past his term as prime minister, and abandoned their collaboration with the government, which eventually prompted the Centre Party to do the same.

Löfven himself was voted back in as prime minister on July 7th, just a couple of weeks later, after the conservative opposition failed to mount a viable challenge. But the breakdown of the deal with the Centre Party and Liberals means that the Social Democrats no longer have to introduce new rental laws which the party does not support, so they are now off the table – at least until the next general election in 2022.

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‘Next stop Kabul’: Sweden Democrat slammed for ‘racist’ tweet 

The Sweden Democrat MP Tobias Andersson has been criticised for a “disgraceful and racist” tweet in which he posted a picture of a train on the Stockholm Metro which the party has paid to have covered in its logo. 

‘Next stop Kabul’: Sweden Democrat slammed for ‘racist’ tweet 

Calling the train the “return-migration train”, he wrote: “You have a one-way ticket. Next stop Kabul!”. 

The Centre Party’s leader Annie Lööf said that the tweet was “disgraceful and racist” while the Liberal Party’s leader Johan Pehrson, who is hoping to join a government with Swedish Democrat support, said it was “tragic” and that Andersson “should be ashamed”. 

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson denied that the tweet was racist. 

“Return migration policies are not racist,” he said. “Our return migration policies are built on being voluntary. It is a way of creating a better society for us and for those who have not found their place here.”