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Controversy at Social Democrat Conference

Published onsdag 2 november 2005 kl 11.36
Göran Persson addresses the conference

The conference of Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats took up its most controversial issue Tuesday, rejecting a demand to force fathers to take half of the leave parents can divide up between them after the birth of a child, with a delaying compromise.

Polls indicate the proposal is very unpopular among Swedes, since it would mean a financial loss for most families.

But the debate has led to further controversy in the party, as Prime Minister Göran Persson told journalists before the vote that even if the proposal passed, the government wasn’t bound by decisions made by the party conference.

That seemed to contradict Persson’s opening address, when he told the delegates their decisions will change people’s daily lives.

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