Today in Sweden For Members

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Author thumbnail
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Liberal Party leader Johan Pehrson. Photo: Christina Olsson/TT

Speaker to meet party leaders, Liberals slammed by MEPs, how climate issues were ignored in the election and other news from Sweden in our roundup on Monday.


Liberal Party criticised in European Parliament for Sweden Democrat backing 

Several MEPs from other liberal parties in the European Parliament have criticised Sweden's Liberal Party for its decision to support a government reliant on the far-right Sweden Democrats. At a meeting of the Renew Europe group, which coordinates liberal parties in the EU parliament, some even suggested that the Swedish Liberals be ejected. 

"How can you take the decision you have made and still want to stay in Renew?" the Belgian MEP Hilde Vautmans asked her colleagues in the Swedish Liberal Party at the meeting. 

After the meeting the Liberal Party's leader Johan Pehrson wrote a letter to Renew MEPs in which he stressed that "The Sweden Democrats, with their nationalist and populist agenda, are our chief opponents. We Liberals have clear red lines over what compromises we can make in forming a coalition." 

But, he added, given the election result, the only way to create a majority together with the Moderats and Christian Democrats is "to come to an agreement with the Sweden Democrats". 

"It will not be easy," he added. 

On Monday, Swedish state broadcaster SVT reported Renew Europe chair Antoine Guéry saying that the Swedish Liberals would not be eject from the group. 

Swedish vocab: att komma overens – to come to an agreement 


Riksdag Speaker to begin talks to form Swedish government on Monday

The Speaker of the Riksdag will begin talks with the leaders of seven parties to form a new government.

On Monday, the Speaker of the Riksdag, Andreas Norlén, will begin one-on-one talks with the leaders of seven Riksdag parties to form a new government following Sweden’s historic election last week.

Following the talks, it is expected that Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson will be tasked with forming a new government. Kristersson has already announced that negotiations with the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Sweden Democrats are already underway.

But Kristersson has not yet given a clear indication of which parties he aims to include in a government, besides the Moderates and Christian Democrats.

Norlén will, starting on Monday morning, have individual conversations with the leaders of seven of the Riksdag’s eight parties. The Speaker spoke with outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson when she submitted her resignation on Thursday.

Norlén has not indicated a timetable for the order or duration of the talks.

Swedish vocab: en samtalsrunda - a round of talks

Swedish unions: We do not want an inflationary wage spiral

Swedish unions do not want to push for wage increased to match or beat inflation in the current wage bargaining for next year, as they believe this will contribute to a wage-price inflation spiral. 

"We do not believe in any idea of compensating for high inflation," Veli-Pekka Säikkälä, negotiating secretary for the IF Metall union, told Sweden's TT newswire. "If we demand compensation for inflation, it will like a cat chasing its own tail. Then we'll end up where we were in the 1980s with high inflation for five years, and we don't want to go there again." 

Johan Ingelskog, the negotiating secretary for the Kommunal union, makes the same argument.

"The two parties in the labour market need to take a common responsibility for not driving up inflation, by respecting the model we have set up," he said. "We have sen before that some white-collar union groups haven't given a shit about the "marker", and taken out more money, and that's something we don't want to see in this bargaining round." 

Swedish vocab: att skita i – to not bother about (literally "to shit in"). 


'Election campaign turned its back on the climate'

Climate change and what to do about it has been a key issue in many recent elections in countries around the world, but not in Sweden, Professor Sverker Jagers at Gothenburg University has told the TT newswire. 

"This was more an election campaign that turned itself against the climate, and above all against the measures that are necessary to handle the climate problem," he said. "Increasing prices for fossil fuels and energy is actually necessary for us to improve our conservation of resources and phase out fossil fuels, but now the parties are competing over who can reduce prices. That's totally counterproductive for the climate." 


Even if the current campaign for the US mid-term elections, there is a much higher level of insight and knowledge about the climate compared to the Swedish campaign that just ended, argues Björn-Ola Linnér, a professor in international climate politics at Linköping University. 

"It is not exactly top marks for the Swedish election debate that the debate in the US is significantly more insightful," he said.

The campaign in Sweden ended up being almost entirely about nuclear power, he complained. 

"There was an extremely limited scope on the broader list of climate issues. It's unfortunate and not particularly helpful in the long-run, because it manes that there's not going to be any consideration of an overall solution to the climate issue." 

Swedish vocab: begränsad – limited


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also