Swedish MPs back for State Opening of Parliament
Swedish MPs returned from their summer recess for the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven delivering his statement setting out his Red/Green government's legislative agenda for its second year in office.
The 349 members of parliament gathered at 11 a.m. at the Riksdag building, in scenes reminiscent of the first day back at school. The pomp and pageantry formally begins at midday, with a service at Stockholm Cathedral.
This year's oration in the Cathedral was performed by journalist and author Göran Rosenberg. The keynote speech has attracted added significance in recent years following the 2010 walkout staged by the leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, and his colleagues. They were upset by the then bishop Eva Brunne's speech about the rise of xenophobia.
After the service, shortly after 2 p.m., the Swedish head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf officially opened parliament for the coming year. He spoke for over twenty minutes about Europe's refugee crisis.
Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven then read his statement, setting out his Red/Green government's legislative agenda for its second year in office.