Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
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Kat
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Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos

Sweden’s election authority says it is getting ready for snap elections as far right prepares to vote with opposition, potentially forcing centre-left government to fall

David Crouch in Gothenburg
The Guardian, Wednesday 3 December 2014 12.44 GMT

Sweden is on the brink of political chaos after the far right said it would exploit its kingmaker role in parliament to stop the centre-left coalition from passing a budget, potentially forcing the government to fall.

The worst fears of Social Democrats and Greens were realised on Tuesday night when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats announced they would vote with the centre-right bloc to kill off the government’s financial plans on Wednesday.

Even with the votes of the Left party of former communists, the red-green coalition does not command a majority in parliament, making it vulnerable to the far right’s break with tradition to vote with the opposition.

“There is an option to try again, there is an option to resign, and there is an option to call new elections,” the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, told Swedish news agency TT after talks with the centre-right broke down.

Swedish politics faced a new situation in which the Sweden Democrats believe they can prevent all policies that do not lead to lower immigration, he said, calling the party’s behaviour “exceptionally irresponsible”.

The Alliance bloc of four centre-right parties has turned down frequent overtures from Löfven to break rank and strike deals with the government. Many believe they should seize this moment to destroy the red-green government and force Löfven to rule without the Greens or call new elections. A government of Social Democrats alone would be even weaker than the current coalition and would be forced to horse-trade with the centre-right.

But the Alliance risks being seen by voters to be relying on the far right to bring down the government. The Sweden Democrats are treated as pariahs by the mainstream parties and the media, but they more than doubled their vote in September elections to almost 13% on the back of rising hostility to immigration.

Parliament could return the budget to the finance committee for further deliberation and to buy time, but such a move only makes sense if there is a possibility that Alliance will agree to collaborate. Alliance party leaders have made clear they have no intention of doing so.

“It is not the opposition’s responsibility to get the government’s budget through parliament … There are significant differences between our budgets,” Anna Kinberg Batra, interim leader of the Moderate party, the largest in the Alliance, said on Tuesday night.

Liberal daily Dagens Nyheter said the prospect for lasting and stable majorities in parliament appeared minimal. “The mainstream parties do not seem to understand each other, and hardly even themselves,” it said.

“The Sweden Democrats will act to try to stop any government that chooses to pursue a growth in immigration and gives the Green party a decisive influence on Swedish migration policy,” said Mattias Karlsson, Sweden Democrats’ leader in parliament, at a press conference on Wednesday.

“It is reasonable to speak to us and hear what our more than 800,000 voters think.”

Newspapers and television channels interrupted live transmission of the Sweden Democrats’ press conference in a mark of mainstream outrage Eek that the far right should exploit the situation to push its demand to slash immigration by 90% from its current high levels as refugees flee conflict in Syria, Somalia and Iraq. One tabloid called it “a PR coup” by the Sweden Democrats.

Parliament begins voting on the different parties’ budget proposals at 3pm GMT.

Sweden’s election authority said it was preparing for snap elections and had put in an order for 6m ballot envelopes.

Sweden has a long history of minority governments because the opposition has traditionally opted not to unite behind a common alternative budget, enabling the Social Democrats for long periods to reign in the minority.

“A government without a budget is no government, and Stefan Löfven has already made it clear that he would rather resign than rule with the Alliance’s budget,” wrote commentator Göran Eriksson in Svenska Dagbladet, a rightwing daily.

As the sense of crisis surrounding the government grew over the past weeks, the paper repeatedly called on the government to quit.

[Image: Swedens-prime-minister-St-011.jpg]
Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven faces pressure over immigration from the far right.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/de...mmigration
2014 Dec 03 23:50
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
Sweden heads for polls after Lofven's parliament defeat

Sweden's left-of-centre Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says he will call snap elections after his minority government lost a budget vote less than three months after coming to power.

He said a new poll would take place on 22 March.

The government failed to push its budget through parliament, when the far-right Sweden Democrats sided with the opposition.

The Sweden Democrats emerged as a power broker after September's elections.

The party now holds 49 seats and, voting with the centre-right opposition on Wednesday, defeated the government's budget by a margin of 182 to 153.

At a hastily called news conference after the vote, Mr Lofven told reporters that new elections would enable voters to "make a choice in the face of this new political landscape".

Under the constitution he cannot officially call a national poll until 29 December.

Accusing the centre-right parties of failing to engage constructively over the budget, Mr Lofven complained that the opposition had allowed the far right to dictate terms.

"We have formed a government, we have a budget, and we will go into the elections with that," he said, standing alongside a spokesman from his coalition partner, the Greens.

The Sweden Democrats became the country's third largest party, with 13% of the vote, and is demanding a reversal in Sweden's liberal immigration laws, which party spokesman Mattias Karlsson has condemned as an "extreme immigration policy".

Sweden has offered permanent residence to all Syrians fleeing the conflict and has the highest rate of asylum applications per capita of any EU country.

Sweden's Migration Board said this year that as many as 2,000 people were applying every week. Most were from Syria, although there had also been an increase from Eritrea.

Asylum applications to Sweden

2012: 44,000

2013: 55,000

2014: 83,000 (projected)

2015: 95,000 (projected)


[Image: _79477990_024955888-1.jpg]
Sweden Democrats spokesman Mattias Karlsson has condemned the main parties' immigration policies

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30306992
2014 Dec 03 23:56
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
So why exactly is an opposition party expected to vote for a minority government's budget... "SD's fault" and not "the opposition's fault"? Hmm...

Anyway, SD must be enjoying this. A majority of Swedes support new elections and don't "blame SD" for toppling the government. SD is likely to increase its share of the votes in the new elections enhancing its position between the two party blocs and making it even more difficult to govern while completely ignoring SD.

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2014 Dec 04 02:28
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
Trouble in (the Guardian's) Paradise: anti-immigration party could bring Swedish government down

http://openeuropeblog.blogspot.de/2014/1...-anti.html

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2014 Dec 04 04:32
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
(2014 Dec 04 02:28)Mustapaita Wrote:  So why exactly is an opposition party expected to vote for a minority government's budget... "SD's fault" and not "the opposition's fault"? Hmm...

Yes, it would have been wrong towards SD's voters to vote for a budget which contained heavy investments to pursue a growth in immigration. 92% of their voters also agree with their decision.
2014 Dec 04 21:12
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
For those who speak Finnish: Ruotsi ja demokraatit

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2014 Dec 05 16:37
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
Quote:Sweden's government has scrapped plans to run a snap election in 2015 after crisis talks between Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Alliance parties, which has been dubbed the 'December agreement.'

"We who are here are prepared to take responsibility for how Sweden is to be governed. Constructive talks have taken place in the last few days," Löfven told reporters at a 10:30 press conference held in Stockholm.

He added that the arrangement has been called the 'December agreement' and its goal is to ensure that a minority government can govern.

Swedish daily Expressen leaked the story early on Saturday morning citing multiple sources within the government. At the press conference Löfven was flanked by the party leaders of the Greens, Moderates, Centre Party, Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats.

Neither the Left Party or the Sweden Democrats were present.

"With this agreement the government will not be making any decision about an extra election, it is simply not of the immediate interest," said Löfven.
http://www.thelocal.se/20141227/sweden-t...ion-report
2014 Dec 27 12:37
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
More water to the SD's mill.
Interesting time lie ahead for Sweden.


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Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2014 Dec 27 15:21
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
Swedish democracy is like a box of chocolates. This basically means a creation of a two-party system in Sweden.

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 Dec 27 22:24
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RE: Anti-immigrant party pushes Sweden to brink of political chaos
The only question is how long these two parties have a majority of the elctorate behind them. In Germany this percentage is shrinking rapidly and what worked in the past (buying and/or corrupting smaller parties and integrating them, scandalizing them and outlawing them) no longer seems to work.


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2014 Dec 28 00:12
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