FAR-RIGHT COULD PUSH SWEDEN INTO CRISIS

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt warned Wednesday the left-wing and far-right opposition parties were pushing his minority government towards crisis. "If you are not prepared to take responsibility for Sweden together and in the long-term, you should not ruin it in the short-term through recklessness," Reinfeldt told Jimmi Åkesson, the head of the far-right Sweden Democrats, during a parliamentary debate of all party leaders. Reinfeldt's centre-right coalition won a second mandate last September but fell two seats short of a majority in an election marked by the spectacular performance of the SD, which entered parliament for the first time, snagging 20 seats and the role of kingmaker. The SD has since sided with the leftwing opposition Social Democrat, Green, and Left parties to defeat the government on a series of key votes, including on the sale of state-owned companies and a controversial back-to-work scheme for the unemployed. "Our protection against having a parliamentary majority take over Sweden is the finance policy framework. It is the core of the government's power, to eliminate the possibilities of short-sighted, irresponsible majorities such as those Aakesson is pushing for," Reinfeldt said.

Reinfeldt also lashed out at the Social Democrats and the Greens, which had vowed ahead of last year's elections never to cooperate with the SD, hinting that their attacks on the government's job policies were undermining the possibility for a minority government to rule effectively. "This is not just about this government and this mandate period. This will create the basis for ruling Sweden for a long time to come," he said. New Social Democrat leader Haakan Juholt was visibly annoyed by the prime minister's comments. "Fredrik Reinfeldt should not lecture us Social Democrats on the economy. We invented the finance policy framework" that in the 1990s simplified minority rule, he said. Wednesday's debate was the first for Juholt, who took over the party in March after his predecessor Mona Sahlin stepped down in the aftermath of its disastrous election results.
© The Swedish Wire http://www.swedishwire.com/

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