Weather Forecast


Social Democrats and the left party boycott televised leadership debate in protest of the presence of the far rights, Sweden Democrats.

Sunday, 09 October 2011
Just ended was the Party leaders' debate on Sweden television’s political program, Agenda, but the Social Democrats and the Left party, which plus the Green party make up the Left-Green opposition coalition, refused to take part. The reason was that they could not share a stage with a far right organization.

In a heated debate that drove on from various topics, the Green party was left to work for those absent and at one time the leader of the Green party regretted sharing a stage with the leader of the far right, Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Akesson.

The current economic crisis forced the Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate party to answer how best to meet an impending recession. Reinfeldt pointed out that Sweden could withstand the crisis because partly the government has a budget with safety margins, so that even if things get so tough, public finances would remain stable.

That was however, challenged by Asa Romson, representing the Green Party and she said that “it's good, but you can not just have a budget crisis and fiscal consolidation.” She called for more investment in infrastructure to expand more recruitment. Reinfeldt countered by pointing out that the government actually spends more money on education and infrastructure.

Liberal Party leader, Jan Björklund, supported Reinfeldt and criticized the Green Party's budget motion. The liberal party is part of the alliance coalition that is currently running the country.

Sweden Democrats' leader, Jimmie Åkesson, attacked Reinfeldt's party for its interest Swedish membership of EMU.

“Let me just remind you that this quartet has been in power for eight years, when we had been part of the debt union, EMU,” he said


After that, the debate jumped into the high youth unemployment in Sweden. Centre Party's new leader, Annie Lööf had questions about why her party think that young people starting salaries should be lower.
“We politicians have a responsibility to turn every stone such that each youth will be able to find a job, a security and get a salary,” said Loof, who, however, clarified that the Centre party did not want to legislate for lower initial wages and believe that market will agree on that.

The debate heated up a few times when it went into the climate and energy issues. The green party’s representative,   Asa Romson attacked the government for not investing enough in green energy sources. Reinfeldt pointed out that the government puts money in developing countries to reduce emissions there, and that the principle is a cornerstone of the international climate policy.

When Sweden Democrat's Jimmie Åkesson tried to talk about his party’s position on green energy, Reinfeldt gave the far rights a strong rebuff by saying that they have “no viable policy.”
“Your financing is that you conjure away 90 percent of immigration in a year.”

There were other clashes between the Greens and the far right when the far right leader accused the government for allowing immigrants with no knowledge and no skill into Sweden.
The far right leader was clearly against Somalis joining their relatives or families in Sweden.   

The Social Democrats and the Left party particularly rejected their interest to be part of the debate after it became clear that the bourgeois parties (the Alliance coalition) were to be on one side and the other four opposition on the other side. This means the Red Green coalition will be together with the far rights as if they have been working together. 

This was ironic because the Sweden Democrats have instead been a supporting party to the government. They have voted and support most of government’s policies and have never stood with the opposition parties.
Since Swedish television refused to change the placing of the parties, Social Democrats’ and the Left rejected their invitation for the debate.

“We refrain from the debate because I represent no united opposition together with Jimmie Åkesson. Sweden Democrats is the only party we can not imagine working with,” said the Social Democrats leader.
By Team

Report Error | Write to the editor | Complaint about this article | Print Friendly and PDF

 What do you think about this article? Could you leave a comment?
  • Should be Empty: