Löfven congratulates Merkel after German election
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Social Democrat) has congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her victory in the German election on Sunday.
"I look forward to continuing to develop our close collaboration - bilaterally, in Europe and globally," he wrote in a statement to news agency TT on Sunday. "We must continue to work together for a strong and democratic Europe.
Merkel's conservative bloc garnered 8.5 percent fewer votes than four years ago, and the right populist party, Alternative For Germany, won 12.6 percent of the votes, making it the first time a far-right party will enter the German parliament in more than half a century, according to Reuters.
"It's obviously not a fun day for Europe," Mikael Damberg (Social Democrat), Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, told Swedish Television News, referring to both how badly the election went for the Social Democrats in Germany and to how well it went for a "right nationalist party", which won enough votes to enter Parliament.
Carl Bildt, once Sweden's foreign minister (Moderate), tweeted that the Social Democrats "saying that they will go into opposition. Emotionally understandable, but will dramatically limited [sic] options for governance of Germany."
Gustav Fridolin (Green), Minister of Education, told Swedish Radio News that he welcomed the prospect of Merkel's Christian Democratic party entering into a coalition that might include the Greens, saying it would lift environmental questions in negotiations.
Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, applauded the success of the Alternative for Germany party. "I think it looks very good for AFD, which is a party that pushes roughly the same issues that we do," he told TT.