election 2010

Greens Call for Refugee Amnesty, Shorter Working Week

Going against the Social Democratic line, the Green Party announced a demand for amnesty for undocumented refugees at their annual Party Congress in Uppsala this weekend. But Green Party leader Maria Wetterstrand admits that it is unlikely that the demand will become reality, leaving it with little practical importance.

“It will be clear for everyone who reads our election manifesto that this is the Green Party’s understanding,” Wetterstrand told SR International at the party meeting. “But I think it would be very unfortunate if we gave the idea that we think that this is something we can actually push through, and thereby give people hope that they can get amnesty.”

“Because I cannot promise that we will succeed in that."

The Greens called for amnesty for refugees in 2005 as well, citing that the asylum process is lawfully ambiguous, which the party continues to hold.

Mona Sahlin, the Social Demcratic party leader, was very wary to agree on that point, however.

“I am very, very hesitant, to express myself mildly, about a general amnesty,” she said, maintaining that such an amnesty would send the wrong signals to people coming to Sweden as refugees.

“In a few years, we will continue to have undocumented refugees, and then it will have to be done all over again," Sahlin said.

The Green Party delegates also voted to demand a 35-hour-workweek, which Sahlin and the Social Democrats are also against.

The election manifesto is part of the strategy of the red-green coalition of the Social Democrats, the Green Party, and the Left Party to wrest control of the parliament from the center-right block in the election this coming September.