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May Day: More for the public sector

Håkan Juholt in Falun during his first May Day speech as party leader. Photo: Ulf Palm/Scanpix

The common theme was improving welfare and the public sector as the labor movement marked the first of May.

This was the first May Day demonstration for Håkan Juholt as leader of the Social Democrat party. With the Social Democrats still in opposition, the day provided an opportunity to attack the policies of the center-right government. Juholt’s main message was a call for more investments in welfare and education, especially in the healthcare sector.

Håkan Juholt called for better training and higher salaries for heathcare employees, as, he said, young people are turning away from those professions.

Håkan Juholt was holding to an earlier promise to speak in the province of Dalarna, a rural Social Democrat stronghold. That choice attracted some attention from the pundits who said the party really needs to regroup in Stockholm. There it was the new economic spokesperson Tommy Waidelich who spoke.

Tommy Waidelich  pointed to what he called the government’s failed efforts on the labor market, saying it is result of a severe reduction in adult education. He also called for more summer jobs and summer schooling for unemployed young people.

Besides the Social Democrats, the Left Party also marches on the first of May. Left leader Lars Ohly spoke in Gothenburg, where he criticised the government reform where people who have been on sickness benefits are sent to job centers to look for work. He called for programs to create jobs in the public and NGO sectors for the longterm unemployed.

Shadow budget aimed at fighting unemployment

The opposition Social Democrats presented their shadow budget Monday. The party is calling for efforts to combat unemployment.

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