The Social Democrats' party leader Stefan Löfven ending the party's congress in Gothenburg on Sunday. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix.

Social Democrats emerge "stronger" from congress

Compromises "down to Löfven's union background"
4:29 min

The leading opposition party, the left-leaning Social Democrats, wrapped up their congress Sunday, in Gothenburg, singing "The Internationale" as is tradition, and having made a raft of decisions about their policy, should they win the next general election.

Radio Sweden spoke to Eric Sundström, editor in chief at the left-leaning web magazine Dagens Arena, who says the party emerged from the congress "stronger", even after former minister Ylva Johansson's sudden exit from the party board.

Some of the major decisions the party made was that Sweden should have the lowest unemployment in the EU by 2020; fathers may get an additional month for parental leave; municipalities should be able to decide whether to allow independent, or "free" schools, to open; and a profit motive should not drive the social welfare sector.

Andreas Schönström who attended from Malmö, told Swedish Radio News, "Swedish social democracy has now put its foot down and said that profits should no longer be the primary goal."

Party leader Stefan Löfven ended by looking forward to the Parliamentary elections next year.

"Let the conservatives keep talking about their tax cuts. Let us talk about how every person in Sweden should have the world's best welfare and let the voters decide the election," said Löfven in his speech.

While Swedish Radio News reports that people seemed to be satisfied, despite all the compromises that were made, there was some surprise over the fact that former cabinet minister Ylva Johansson would no longer have a place on the party's board, reports news agency TT.

Johansson is currently the party's spokesperson in Parliament on labor market policies.

"I don't know why she didn't get it, it's some game in Stockholm," says a source in the party leadership to TT.

Johansson, herself, says, "Why I didn't get in, you'll have to ask the election nominating committee. I really don't know. It's unfortunate, but it's not going to affect my work as a spokesperson in Parliament. I will keep working politically," she says.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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