Prime Minister promotes multi-ethnic Sweden

5:04 min

When the conservative Moderates, the largest coalition party in the government, took centre stage at Almedalen today, party leader and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt put a heavy focus on jobs. He also distanced his party from the extreme right Sweden Democrats, making a strong case for a multi-ethnic Sweden.  

When a Swedish Radio interviewer reminded Reinfeldt that he has previously called himself "a typical Swede - the fruit of a romance between a coloured American circus artist and a Latvian maid", Reinfeldt said that is how Sweden has become the country it is today.

"People who have come from different places, that mix makes us richer and it is exciting, it is a Sweden I like and it is a Sweden I want to see continue.

He went on to say he believes in a tolerant society that encourages diversity and that it's important to do more than talk about multiculturalism.

"I have followed many other countries in Europe where the same type of party as the Sweden Democrats have won parliament seats," he said, adding that in almost every other country political parties have been influences by xenophobic rhetoric.

But he argued that Sweden is one of few that has chosen a different path.

"Sweden, is, as far as I know, the only exception. We have moved in the opposite direction, where we instead we made a deal with the Green Party about liberalising rules for asylum seekers and refugees, and I think that's the right thing to do.”

At his press conference in the afternoon Prime Minister Reinfeldt focused almost entirely on jobs. He said he wants to drastically lower the cost for an employer to take on a young employee.

He also wants to lower the fee paid to the unemployment benefit schemes.

Fredrik Reinfeldt has also opened up for a possible fifth income tax cut in the government's budget in the autumn, which he said would promote job creation.

The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, have already criticised a possible new tax cut by saying that "the government thinks every problem can be solved with one thing: tax cuts.”