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Löfven not worried about vote of no confidence

Updated onsdag 14 januari 2015 kl 16.23
Published onsdag 14 januari 2015 kl 08.57
"I wonder why you are so proud about it now"
(3:59 min)
Conservative Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven during the party leader debate, Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
Conservative Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven during the party leader debate, Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

At the party leader debate at the new session of the Swedish Parliament Wednesday the opposition Sweden Democrats have called for a vote of no confidence in the red-green government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. But Löfven himself is not worried about it.

At the party leader debate at the new session of the Swedish Parliament Wednesday the opposition Sweden Democrats have called for a vote of no confidence in the red-green government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. But Löfven himself is not worried about it.

The vote will be held on January 20. But as the other opposition parties have said they will not vote for such a motion, it is expected to fail.

And Stefan Löfven plays down the importance of the Sweden Democrat move.

"It is a right-wing populist party, which has been acting irresponsibly since this autumn, trying to turn parliament into its own playground, to get attention. I actually don't take that seriously," he told Swedish Radio News.

Earlier on Wednesday, acting Sweden Democrat leader Matthias Karlsson listed in parliament, a number of reasons why he says his patience in Löfven is at an end. This included the failure of the government to call for a snap election after its budget failed. That was because of last month's December Agreement with the other opposition parties, aimed at making it easier for a minority government to rule and reducing the Sweden Democrats' balance of power.

Karlsson called the agreement a "technical power cartel":

"The leadership we have seen during the past few months," he said, "is not the leadership that Sweden needs to deal with the challenges that our country faces in the near future…In accordance with the 13th chapter, 4th paragraph of the constitutional instrument of government, on behalf of the entire Sweden Democrat parliamentary group I call upon parliament to declare that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven no longer has the chamber's confidence.

To date there have been five votes of no confidence ever in the Swedish Parliament, and none has passed, although twice the introduction of the motion led to resignations.

The debate also saw Anna Kinberg Batra taking part for the first time since her recent selection as the new leader of the conservative Moderate Party. She told parliament that the red-green government's rate of reforms is less than that of the previous center-right coalition.

"In a situation where Sweden, as the prime minister himself admitted, stands before major challenges, I have to ask why the pace of reform is so slow?"

Prime Minister Löfven responded by pointing to the Sweden Democrats, who have said they would block any government and its budget that does not agree with their position to restrict immigration.

"There was a unique situation this autumn, which led to the government's budget failing to pass", Löfven said. "That budget contained many concrete proposals for what should have been done to help young people find jobs. But it fell, and I wonder why you are so proud about that right now. You're about to ask what about youth unemployment? Well, I can tell you. Yes the government's budget fell, but we don't plan to give up on the issue."

Liberal leader Jan Björklund expressed concern about the situation in Russia, and says this is a reason for Sweden to join NATO. He pressed the prime minister on the center-right's demand for an official study into membership.

"Four of the six parties behind the December Agreement now want to begin discussions aimed at a study into NATO membership," he said. "And these four parties have more members of parliament and received more votes than the two parties that have said no."

But Stefan Lövfen repeated his government's opposition to such a study, which Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said during the weekend would send the wrong signals to Sweden's partners abroad.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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