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Left Party and Sweden Democrats barred from government terror talks

Published tisdag 11 april kl 15.16
Anders Ygeman: Left Party will have to change their positions
(2:35 min)
Anders Ygeman laying down flowers
Interior minister Anders Ygeman outside Åhléns following Friday's attack. Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/TT/AFP

Sweden's red-green government will host a new round of talks with opposition parties on how to prevent future acts of terrorism in the wake of Friday’s attack in central Stockholm.

The talks, which will be held after Easter, will be similar to the deliberations from two years ago.

Back then, the Left Party pulled out of discussions over concerns that some of the proposed measures threatened individual privacy and civil rights.  

Now, the government is shutting the Left Party out from upcoming talks.

Sweden's interior minister, Anders Ygeman, says that can change but only if the Left Party revisits some of their earlier positions.

You cannot simply pick and choose which parts of an agreement to support,” Ygeman told Swedish Radio.

In the deal struck in 2015, the government and opposition agreed, among other things, to ramp-up video surveillance and computer monitoring measures that the Left Party had been opposed to.

Jonas Sjöstedt, the Left Party leader, does not want to say whether they will revise their stance on such matters, but does not believe it should prevent them from taking part in future discussions.

“Even if we disagreed over certain issues earlier that doesn’t mean we cannot be part of negotiations going forward,” Sjöstedt said.

The Left Party isn’t the only party being shut out from the upcoming talks. The xenophobic Sweden Democrats are not invited to participate either.

“Fundamentally, it’s about what you bring to the table. By taking the positions they have, the Sweden Democrats have more or less opted out of serious discussions about terrorism,” Ygeman said.

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