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Party leaders clashed in parliament

Updated onsdag 12 oktober 2016 kl 14.00
Published onsdag 12 oktober 2016 kl 09.36
The parliamentary debate is an opportunity for the leaders to present their own policies and attack those of their opponents.
The parliamentary debate is an opportunity for the leaders to present their own policies and attack those of their opponents. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

When Sweden's parliamentary party leaders debated a variety of issues Wednesday morning, Radio Sweden reported live. 

radiosweden: Political party leaders are debating in Swedish parliament @Sverigesriksdag now. Hear an English translation here: https://t.co/TiG1bG9zaq

09:32, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Welcome to Radio Sweden's live updates on the party leader debate in Sweden's parliament.

10:03, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: The leaders of Sweden's parliamentary parties are hotly debating the issue of social exclusion (utanförskapet).

10:03, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: The leader of the main opposition party, the Moderate Party, says not enough is being done by the government for integration.

10:07, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The debate started with a statement from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, and then, one by one, the different party leaders have been putting their questions to him.

10:12, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra also demanded more protection for emergency staff, like police, fire brigade and ambulance in areas where many feel excluded from society.

10:15, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: And she said the development in the Swedish schools is going the wrong direction. "The only one who is happy, is the prime minister" she said.

10:16, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven answered the Moderate leader by accusing the previous centre-right government for cutting taxes by SEK 140 billion, creating big holes in the budget.

10:17, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch Thor is being replaced by the party's group leader in parliament Andreas Carlson. He is criticising the government for not taking waiting times and long queues in the health care sector seriously enough.

10:19, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Stefan Löfven reminds the Christian Democrats that the queues were long already during the previous government, and says there is a link between allocated resources and how long the queues are. "We need to add more resources," said Löfven.

10:21, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Now the Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson is talking. He talks about problems in some areas, mainly located in the big cities suburbs. He is demanding more money for the police.

10:26, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Earlier in the debate, Löfven accused the centre-right coalition, the Alliance, of wanting to phase out the Swedish model, by lowering wages and cutting the welfare by lowering taxes.
"We don't believe in low wages in Sweden. Instead we go for big growth," said Löfven.

10:30, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson accuses Stefan Löfven of not seeing reality properly, when it comes to the lack of integration. Löfven counters by saying the Sweden Democrats want to cut any kind of investment to increase integration.

10:39, 12 October 2016


Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking during the morning debate. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking during the morning debate. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT.

10:40, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Jimmie Åkesson is getting questions from the Moderate Party leader about their relation to Russia, after a person working for their party in parliament was deemed to be a security risk.

10:45, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden:

Åkesson countered by saying that in his mind no-one should ever doubt his party's ability to stand up against any superpower and work for the national interest.

10:47, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Earlier in the debate, the centre-left government was also attacked from the left. Left party leader Jonas Sjöstedt said that Sweden used to be one of the most equal countries in the world, but that this has changed over the past ten years.

10:53, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The picture painted by Sjöstedt was one of small number of super-rich people while others are struggling on a small pension to make ends meet. "We can build a more equal Sweden, if you take your foot off the break" said Sjöstedt to Löfven and the Social Democrats.

10:55, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Löfven countered by saying that there were plenty of examples in the budget that aim to target inequalities and injusticies.

10:56, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Now the Centre Party's leader Annie Lööf is also accusing the Sweden Democrats for having too close links to Russia and Putin.

10:57, 12 October 2016


Moderate Party Leader Anna Kinberg Batra. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT.

Moderate Party Leader Anna Kinberg Batra. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT.

10:58, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Jimmie Åkesson counters by reading statements the Sweden Democrats have done in the past where they are criticising Russia for actions in Syria and in the Ukraine. He says the claims that his party is cosying up to Putin are "simply not credible".

11:00, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: In the earlier exchange between Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Christian Democrat Andreas Carlson the so called "queue billion" came up, a special bonus system for health authorities that managed to keep the queues to the health care system below 60 days. It was introduced by the previous centre-right government, but was abolished by the current government.

11:10, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Löfven then said that they abolished it because they were listening to the health care profession that was very negative to the side-effects of it.

11:11, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Swedish Radio's political commentator Thomas Ramberg, who is following the debate, noted that it has been a while since the health care was debated to much in a party leader debate.

11:12, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Currently, Jimmie Åkesson of the Sweden Democrats, the third biggest party in parliament, is at the centre of the debate, responding to questions and criticism from other party leaders.

11:16, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden:

Now the Green party spokesperson Isabella Lövin takes over the
platform from Åkesson. She starts by talking about how the use of biofuels has increased all around Sweeden. "Thanks to all of the climate heroes in Sweden!" she says.

11:20, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The renewable energy is growing like never before in Sweden, partly thanks to dramatically lower investment costs, says the Green Party leader.

11:21, 12 October 2016


Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson, left, debates with Center Party leader Annie Lööf, right. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT.

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson, left, debates with Center Party leader Annie Lööf, right. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT.

11:28, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: There are eight parties in the Swedish Parliament. Each party leader will take turns (biggest party first, second biggest after that, etc) in making a statement for a few minutes, before "duelling" in turn with the different party leaders who have questions/criticism.

11:30, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Moderate Party leader is asking the Green Party leader what the government is doing to speed up the process of sending back people whose asylum application here have failed.

11:31, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: There are about 19,000 people currently in Sweden who needs to be returned to their country of origin, according to Anna Kinberg Batra of the Moderate Party.

11:32, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Isabella Lövin responds that Sweden has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Afghanistan to ensure that people who are returned there, and not least unaccompanied minors who asylum application has failed, are received in a decent way.

11:35, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Now the Centre Party criticises the Green Party for not doing enough for the environment. "Two thirds of your environment budget will not be implemented until after next election," said Lööf.

11:36, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: This is not correct, says the Green Party's Lövin, and rattles through the figures of money invested for the environment already now. "Your party and mine really ought to have so much in common," said Lövin, referring to the Centre Party and the Green Party both claiming to be the most environment responsible party in parliament.

11:39, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Annie Lööf of the Centre Party claims the government's investment in Green policies does not have sufficient concrete effect.

11:40, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Left Party's Jonas Sjöstedt is pushing the Green Party to put an end to the export of weapons to dictatorships "like Saudi Arabia". Lövin says her party is doing everything it can to get the right legislation in place to stop this from happening.

11:45, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Now the Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund is criticising the government for its plans to build a high-speed railway between Stockholm and Gothenburg and Malmö, and that the building should start already next year. He says instead we should make sure the current system is working, before you start building new.

11:49, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Lövin from the Green Party says the government will increase the maintenance of the railway network by 47 percent. But she says it is also important to aim for the future, and ensure that more people move from road to rail. She says she is surprised the Liberals have changed their minds and are now against the high-speed railway.

11:51, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: In her statement, the Centre Party's Annie Lööf is warning that a new social underclass is growing in Sweden, she is calling for a "renewal of the Swedish model". She also criticises the government for putting many of the investments for the environment after next election.

12:07, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Responding to Annie Lööf, the Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven begins by praising her for standing up for human rights and for an open society, when racisim and "brown forces" are sweeping over Europe.

12:09, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Annie Lööf responds to Löfven praise by accusing him of blowing hot and cold wind whenever it suits him.

12:10, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Löfven is demanding answers from Lööf about her party's position on "wage dumping" and the government's proposal that also foreign companies working in Sweden apply working conditions in line with the collective bargaining agreements in this country.

12:13, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Lööf says there are many people criticising the proposal, including trade unions, small companies that risk going out of business - and also the Council of Legislation which scrutinises draft bills which the Government intends to submit to Parliament.

12:16, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson again brings up immigration. He asks Lööf how the four parties in the centre-right Alliance shall be able to agree on immigration, as they currently have differing views on how strict rules there should be.

12:19, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Lööf says the Alliance will not have problems in agreeing. The two parties she does not work together with are the Sweden Democrats and the Left Party "and that is for political reasons".

12:21, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: The Left Party's Jonas Sjöstedt is questioning why the Centre party is in favour of private companies making profits in the welfare sector. The difference in salaries for a health care worker can be as much as SEK 2,500 per month, "and that is a lot of money for someone who earns 20,700 kroner a month" he said.

12:33, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Lööf says the Left Party, but also the Social Democrats - and to some extent the Green Party - are obsessed by doing something about profits in the welfare sector, but that they have completely forgotten to focus on quality in the welfare sector.

12:35, 12 October 2016

Ulla Engberg, reporter, Radio Sweden: Next party up is the Left party, Jonas Sjöstedt begins his statement by talking about why it is right to have a country with a good welfare system. He says he is not in agreement with the government about everything, but spends most of his time criticising the centre-right parties. The Left Party does not want to se any party from the centre-right Alliance as part of the government and that is "an important difference between us and the (Social Democrat and Green) government".

12:42, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Liberal leader Jan Björklund warns of a dangerous political situation. He says right-wing populists as a threat, and names Le Pen, Trump, UKIP and AfD. He also says left-wing populism is a threat, and names Spain's Podemos, and says UK Labour Party has been "taken over by a communist".

12:56, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Jimmie Åkesson, whose party sits in the same EU group as UKIP, takes up Björklund's comments on populism and asks who decides what is "extreme". He says the parties mentioned by the Liberal leader have support from the people.

13:08, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Åkesson says it is the Liberals who are "extreme." Björklund hits back by saying that Åkesson is part of a "polarisation" that he opposes. But accepts that the popular support for such parties is something that centrists need to think about.

13:10, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Both representatives of the government parties - Social Democrat and Green - have thanked Liberal leader Jan Björklund. The Liberals recently said that they were prepared to work across the political blocs and cooperate with the Social Democrats to keep out the Sweden Democrats and Left Party.

13:14, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Greens and Liberals now colliding on the issue where they have diametrically opposite views: nuclear power. Greens don't want Sweden to follow Finland, and says nuclear power has proven itself to be expensive there. Björklund wants to defend Swedish nuclear power and says sea-based wind power is even more expensive.

13:17, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt takes on the Liberals regarding equality. A Liberal election slogan was "feminism without socialism." Sjöstedt says Liberals' reforms would hurt women and those on low pay.

13:21, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: The Christian Democrats now have their time to put forward their politics, and answer the other parties' questions. Andreas Carlson, standing in for Ebba Busch Thor, ays his party and its centre-right Alliance is the alternative to a "tired and satisfied government".

13:32, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: The Christian Democrats describe a politics based on extra support for families and the elderly, as well as law and order measures to prevent citizens taking the law into their own hands.

13:33, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: Several politicians during the debate made the mistake of addressing "Mr Speaker" rather than "Madame Speaker", as they should have after Esabelle Dingizian took over the role. The word for speaker of the parliament is "talman" regardless of the sex of the person holding the office.

13:36, 12 October 2016

Loukas Christodoulou, producer, Radio Sweden: After the Christian Democrats' speech the party leader debate is over and Radio Sweden ends its live reporting here. Thank you for joining us! /Loukas

13:37, 12 October 2016

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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