Prime minister's Speech

"Growing Faith in the Future"

In his speech at the opening of the new parliament, Prime Minister Reinfeldt portrayed the Sweden as a country where faith in the future is growing, as the economy is shaping up. "Sweden is now emerging from the financial crisis. And we are doing so more strongly than almost any other country," he said, adding that "while other countries are forced to take austerity measures, we are able to take steps to prevent unemployment becoming persistent."

By taking responsibility for keeping the economy in good order, the Government wants to "take Sweden from crisis to full employment."

Reinfeldt defended his government's changes in the social security systems, claiming that "previous passivity has been replaced by active measures", but he also admitted that the health insurance reform "can lead to unreasonable and unintended consequences".

As a comment to the new party in parliament, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, Reinfeldt said that "one of the most Swedish things we have is our tradition of openness to the rest of the world. Generations of people who have fled persecution and poverty have been given a chance to start a new life in Sweden. They have enriched our country, made us wiser and given us a more developed society. They contribute to our prosperity. Without this opennes, Sweden would have been a poorer country."

But Reinfeldt also spoke about "major shortcomings in the system" for immigrants to become established in Sweden and said that "improving integration is one of our greatest challenges".

The government intends to take "initiatives" to "further strengthen opportunities for those born abroad to become established on the labour market at an earlier stage. The focus will be on new arrivals being able to obtain jobs, swedish language skills and a knowledge of how society works".

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