Government crisis in Sweden

Government crisis in Sweden

Yesterday, the interim leader of the Sweden Democrats, Mattias Karlsson, announced that his party would vote for the Alliance parties’ budget proposal in the Riksdag today, effectively blocking the government’s Budget Bill.

To bring our readers up to speed on the topic, we offer an excerpt of today’s Mundus News below.

MUNDUS NEWS 3 December, 2014

SD: We will vote for the Alliance’s budget
Mattias Karlsson, the Sweden Democrats interim leader, yesterday declared that his party will vote for the Alliance’s budget proposal and, in effect, block the government’s Budget Bill. “In the current situation … we will vote for the Alliance budget proposal,” Karlsson told a full press conference on Tuesday. “We don’t trust the government’s funding,” reports SvD. Karlsson added that if the Alliance parties do not amend or change the proposition to decrease immigration, SD would, in a future situation of similar nature, also block an Alliance budget. He said the issue of immigration must be brought to the forefront of Swedish politics even if it means the Sweden Democrats lose their position as kingmakers in the Riksdag: “We are prepared to take the risk to bring up immigration on the agenda.” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven accused the Sweden Democrats for putting politics and strategy before the good of the nation. The Sweden Democrats “have acted in an exceptionally irresponsible manner” (SR).

Löfven: We will give further information following the debate
In response to the conduct of the Sweden Democrats, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven invited party leaders of the Alliance to a crisis meeting late last night. Löfven called for cooperation and highlighted the fact that the Sweden Democrats will harass every government that does not follow their lead, DN reports. He also made it clear he was prepared to make concessions in his party’s budget. Anna Kinberg Batra, group leader for the Moderate Party, told media that Löfven is responsible for presenting a workable budget: “There are significant differences between our budget proposals,” she said. “It’s not the opposition’s responsibility to get through the government’s budget.” Center Party leader, Annie Lööf, told media that “it is Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s responsibility to find a solution now” (SR).

At a late press conference following the meeting with the Alliance, the Prime Minister said that the government will wait until after the debate in the Riksdag today before providing information on how to proceed (TT).

MP open to discuss the budget

Bildt: Better for the country
In a response to the Sweden Democrats’s decision to block the budget, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, tweeted that the decision is ‘better for the country’: ”Chaos and turmoil in the politics of Sweden. Red-Green government likely collapses. Was bound to happen sooner or later. This was sooner”. The leader of the Liberal Party, Jan Björklund, said that the ”Alliance’s budget proposition is better for jobs, business environment, the school, freedom of choice, and growth. I hope we win” (DN).

Political Scientists: Extra election probable
Malena Rosén Sundström, political scientist at Lund University, said that the Sweden Democrats are playing an offensive game which, on one hand, gives them the most to win in case of an extra election, but on the other hand the party risks losing influence if the other parties reach a compromise. Jonas Hinnfors, a political scientist from Göteborg University, concurs that in case of a compromise, the Sweden Democrats would lose their balance of power position. Ann-Cathrine Jungar, a political scientist at Södertörn Collage and expert on right wing populist parties, thought that the Sweden Democrats would stick to convention in order to break isolation – this assumption was based on comparisons to similar situations in other countries, reports SvD. Mikael Gilliam of Göteborg Univiersity tells Sveriges Radio that he believes there will be an extra election held on 15 May.

Åkesson hesitated
Expressen reports that the leader of the Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, hesitated about the decision to block the government’s budget. Åkesson, currently on sick leave, emphasised internally the importance of the party keeping its role as kingmakers in the Riksdag. According to Expressen, Åkesson was convinced to topple the budget by the party’s interim leader, Mattias Karlsson.

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having studied and worked in the field for more than 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012. In addition to working for foreign missions, she has worked in sectors such as NGOs and non-profit organisations (e.g. the Clinton Foundation and the International Red Cross), and television. Jessica is a Member of the Board of the Swedish Cricket Federation.