Swedish opposition leader: 'We are agreed enough on the big issues'

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Swedish opposition leader: 'We are agreed enough on the big issues'
Moderate party leader Ulf Kristersson speaks at his party's election kickoff in Norrköping on August 4th. Photo: Magnus Andersson/TT

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson kicked off his party's election campaign on Thursday, with a speech that presented himself as the only candidate backed by a coalition of parties with a common programme.


In a speech in front of four hundred Moderate party members in the city of Norrköping, Kristersson said that unlike ruling the Social Democrats, his party was backed by three other parties that were agreed on enough to get necessary reforms enacted in government. 

"We have slowly but surely built a team on our side of politics which is ready and has both the will and the ability," he said. "Four different parties which are not agreed on everything, but which are sufficiently agreed on the big issues to together get results." 


He reiterated the praise he had given to the populist Sweden Democrats party in his speech at the Almedalen political festival at the start of July. 

"No other party has warned as consistently as the Sweden Democrats that Sweden cannot continue to increase immigration if we want to handle the problems with integration," he said. "And that's something I appreciate." 

He praised the Christian Democrats for their focus on healthcare and elderly care, and welcomed back the Liberals, saying he was glad they had "found their way home to the political right". 

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He stressed, however, that the Moderates' decision in the autumn of 2019 to work with all political parties, including the Sweden Democrats had been "pragmatic but not at all without principle". 

"On the contrary," he said. "We have strong values which we do not compromise on." 

He dismissed Social Democrat claims that Moderate warnings that they will bring back Sweden's property tax were "disinformation", pointing out that Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist had also called it "disinformation" when Kristersson predicted that the Social Democrats would change their policy towards joining the Nato Alliance.

He claimed that the Social Democrats in Stockholm wanted to bring back the property tax, as did The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, the Social Democrats' youth organisation, the Left Party, and the Green Party. 

Let's all take a bet on what would happen if the Social Democrats become dependent on the Left Party and the Green Party after the election," he said. "Then they'll bring in the property tax. Elisabeth Svantesson [the Moderates' finance spokesperson] is right. You can't trust the Social Democrats." 


In the speech, Kristersson tried to give a more positive spin on the campaign, talking about how once the party takes power they will focusing on "building a Sweden to be proud of again".  

With the left and right political blocks nearly equal in size at the start of the campaign, Kristersson said there was still everything to fight for. 

"This is an extremely good starting point," he said. "Victory is within reach, but it is absolutely not yet won!" 


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