Almedalen 2013

Radio Sweden's coverage of the annual week of heavy politics on the Baltic island of Gotland


  • Almedalen 2013 was bigger than ever. The 8 days of the 46th iteration attracted 20,000 visitors to more than 2100 events.

    While the media coverage continued to center around the party political activities, most of the events were in fact not connected to the parties, as lobbyists, interest groups, media, and political junkies crowded the city of Visby.

  • Winding up the Almedalen week of intense politics on the island of Gotland, Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven put the focus of his speech on education.

    Taking on the government, and especially the Liberal Party on its key issue, the opposition leader said if his party wins next year’s election they’ll fund 1000 new special education teachers for the lower grades of elementary school.

  • Sunday is the final day of the Almedalen week of heavy politics on the island of Gotland, and this year it’s the turn of Sweden’s largest party, the opposition Social Democrats, to be last out.

    Party leader Stefan Löfven will be giving his speech at 11:00 AM, as many of the participating politicians, journalists, lobbyists and political junkies in general will be departing for the mainland.

  • In her speech at the Almedalen week of intense politics on the island of Gotland, Center Party leader Annie Lööf indirectly criticised her own government on employment issues.

    Saturday was Center Party day at Almedalen. With the week winding up and journalists and others beginning to return home, Lööf, who is also Minister for Enterprise, gave her speech in the middle of the day.

  • The newspaper Expressen reports that former Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin was threatened Friday night by neo-Nazis.

    The three men, members of the neo-Nazi “Party of the Swedes” (Svenskarnas parti), reportedly called Sahlin “traitor” and followed her to her hotel in Visby, where she is attending Almedalen week. Sahlin tells the newspaper “They seemed to strongly hate me.”

  • It’s Center Party day at the Almedalen week of intense politics on the island of Gotland, and the party is calling for restrictions on the use of dangerous chemicals.

    Writing in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet Saturday, ahead of her speech in the Almedalen park, center leader Annie Lööf presents a package including increased taxation for the use of chemicals, a ban on the most dangerous, and new technologies to filter pharmaceutical residues at water treatment plants.

  • Party leader speech in Almedalen

    Sweden should adopt a nationwide system of apprenticeships for high school students, said Jan Björklund, head of the Liberal Party and Minister of Education, during his speech in Almedalen Friday evening.

    But Björklund started his speech, on the Liberals' allotted day during the political week, by attacking the opposition.

  • The leader of Sweden’s Left Party Jonas Sjöstedt has called for an end to the privatization of public services in a speech dominated by criticism of private profits in the welfare and education sector.  

    “What kind of society are we creating with privatization?”  Are we citizens or customers?” he asked a jubilant crowd of supporters at Almedalen park on Gotland island.

  • Economy

    Finance Minister Anders Borg's has confirmed a change of direction and plans to use fiscal stimulus to boost the economy and counter the impact of euro zone's economic woes, reports Reuters news agency.

    Borg's new economic outlook comes as the government seeks to overtake a centre-left opposition far ahead in opinion polls and sets the stage for the autumn budget and possible new spending.

  • It’s the Fourth of July, the American national day. And news comes from Almedalen of a change in policy that may mean closer Swedish cooperation with the US in NATO and its rapid deployment forces.

    With the exception of peacekeeping missions like Afghanistan and Libya, Sweden hasn’t fought in a war in two hundred years. The policies of neutrality and non-alliance were firmly entrenched during the Social Democrats’ virtual monopoly on power during the Twentieth Century.

  • In his speech at the Almedalen week of intense politics, conservative Moderate leader and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt began by talking about youth unemployment. Reinfeldt praised McDonalds as an example for its confidence in the ability of young people.

    Reinfeldt went on to criticize the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat party, drawing applause when he said “We must take our responsibility and at the same time isolate the eighth party”.

  • When the conservative Moderates, the largest coalition party in the government, took centre stage at Almedalen today, party leader and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt put a heavy focus on jobs. He also distanced his party from the extreme right Sweden Democrats, making a strong case for a multi-ethnic Sweden.  

  • call to repeal fra law

    The Green Party took up schools and climate on its day at the Almedalen week of heavy politics. Both were highlighted by party co-leader Gustav Fridolin in his speech from the stage in the park on the island of Gotland.

    Fridolin started, however, with a call for the release of Swedish journalist Dawik Isaak from his imprisonment without charge or trial in Eritrea. He then called for the repeal of the FRA law, which allows the Swedish counterpart to the American NSA to spy on electronic traffic, before moving on to education.

  • As a new law allowing undocumented migrants to receive medical care in Sweden came into effect on Monday, the association of local authorities and counties (SKL), said the state needs to provide more support for newly arrived refugees.

    However, Södertälje, one of the municipalities that received the largest number of refugees - more Iraqi asylum seekers than the entire US - thinks SKL should put even more pressure on the government.

  • The Green Party wants to renovate and improve the environment in Swedish schools. That was the main message when the party's joint leaders, Gustav Fridolin, spoke to the press in Almedalenon Tuesday morning.

    The party proposes spending SEK1.5 billion to improve Swedish classrooms.

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