Löfven "lost patience" with centre-right opposition
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven says he has "lost his patience" with the centre-right opposition parties, following this Autumn's parliamentary problems, which have led to Löfven planning to call a new election in March.
Speaking to news agency TT ahead of the Christmas holidays, Löfven says he tried everything he could to try to reach a deal over the political divide with the centre-right opposition, but failed. He claims he put everything up for discussion, "including taxes and duties and all areas of expenditure".
"When you get a 'no' all the time your patience runs out", he says. He claims he also tried to meet the other party leaders to hold talks right after being elected leader of the Social Democrats in 2012. Only former Moderate party leader and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt agreed to a meeting, he says. The other party leaders from the centre-right did not even reply, he claims.
Sweden faces a new snap election in March after Löfven's minority coalition government with the Greens failed to get its budget through parliament, due to the xenophobic Sweden Democrats going against parliament praxis and voting for the centre-right Alliance budget rather than abstaining.
"That language of force, that despotism, that arrogance towards the Swedish parliament, that makes me really, really angry", Löfven says.
The extra election is needed, he adds, but if September's election result is repeated, with the Sweden Democrats holding the balance of power and threatening to vote down any government that does not adhere to its policies of cutting immigration, then there will have to be talks between the two major blocks in Swedish politics, Löfven says.
"We can't have elections every year or every six months", he tells TT.