Parties present anti-terror deal
The government and the four centre-right Alliance parties have agreed on a series of anti-terrorism measures, including the criminalisation of travelling to commit terrorism abroad, restricting how many times a person may apply for a passport within a five-year period, and introducing legislation to specifically outlaw financing terrorism and terrorist organisations.
At a press conference on Thursday, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said that he was pleased that the parties had reached agreement on a total of 13 measures to combat terrorism.
"In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and the raised terror threat level here, it is crucial that we reach a broad agreement to improve public safety and security," Ygeman said.
The Left Party refused to sign the deal, and the Sweden Democrats were not invited to take part. Speaking to Swedish Television, Left Party MP, Mia Sydow Mölleby, criticsed the deal, saying:
"They want to criminalise planning or even thinking about travelling; and what happens when a grandmother sends her grandchildren some money -will she face terrorism charges?"
Several of the proposals include new restrictions on passports that would limit the number of times a person could request a new passport to three times within a five-year period, compared to an unlimited number of times today. Children would also be required to have new passports every three years, instead of the current five.
In a bid to combat terrorism financing, the parties have decided that Sweden's various financial supervisory authorities should share information more effectively to make it easier to detect terrorist organisation funding.
The parties have also agreed to review whether the police should be allowed to monitor encrypted messages and how that would work in practice. Interior Minister Anders Ygeman tells Radio Sweden this does not mean restrictions on civil liberties.
"No, we don't want to restrict the civil liberties. We have to safeguard integrity and justice. I think we will do this the same way that we regulate wire-tapping, which means that a court needs to approve the measure," Ygeman.
The parties of the centre-right have also accepted the government's previous proposal to tighten legislation on attempting to access or buy illegal weapons, as well as tougher punishments for handling or purchasing illegal explosives such as hand grenades.
Local municipalities will also be issued with fresh directives on how to prevent radicalisation, and authorities will review and ensure that radical organisations do not receive state funding.