The Swedish parties agree to form a government with far-right support

The Swedish parties agree to form a government with far-right support

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Three right-wing Swedish parties will form a minority government with unprecedented support from the far-right Sweden Democrats, the four parties said on Friday, immediately unveiling plans to build new nuclear reactors and tackle crime and immigration.

The new government will consist of the moderates, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals, with the far-right Sweden Democrats remaining outside the coalition but providing key support in parliament.

The four presented a roadmap for their collaboration on Friday, outlining measures to combat rising crime, immigration, energy policy, healthcare, education and the economy.

“Change is not only necessary, it is possible and the four of us can make it happen,” Ulf Kristesson, leader of the Conservative Moderates, told reporters.

Parliament is set to vote on Kristersson as the new prime minister on Monday, and the incoming government is expected to take office on Tuesday, just over a month after the right won a narrow victory in a general election that ousted the Social Democrats after eight years of energy .

The four right-wing parties together hold 176 of 349 seats in parliament.

The anti-immigrant and nationalist Sweden Democrats, once shunned as pariahs on the Swedish political stage, were the big winners of the September 11 vote.

They became the country’s second largest party with a record 20.5 percent of the vote, behind outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats, who had dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.

While far-right leader Jimmie Akesson said he “would have preferred to be in government,” he stressed that what matters most is that his party, as the largest right-wing party, has influence on politics.

“We will do politics, especially in the areas that our constituents consider most important, and crime policy is one such area,” he told reporters.

– concessions –

While the Quartet presented a united front on Friday, they have traditionally been divided on a number of key policy areas, and major concessions were made in the agreement, mainly to meet demands from the far right.

Sweden is struggling to stem the rise of gang shootings and violence, and the roadmap calls for the introduction of visit zones in some disadvantaged areas, tougher penalties for repeat offenders, double penalties for certain crimes and anonymous witnesses – all key concessions from the small Liberal party.

The new government also plans to slash Sweden’s generous refugee policy, reducing the number of quota refugees from 6,400 last year to 900 a year during their four-year term.

It will also abandon Sweden’s foreign aid target of 1 percent of gross national income and introduce a national ban on begging.

The four parties also agreed not to cut unemployment benefits, a major concession by the moderates to the extreme right.

“Most important to the Sweden Democrats was that the change of government represents a paradigm shift,” Akesson said.

Meanwhile, the incoming government also announced plans to build new nuclear reactors to meet the country’s increasing electricity demand.

“New nuclear reactors are being built,” Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch told reporters.

“We will reach our end of the Paris Agreement, but without destroying the finances of companies and Swedish households. The goal for the future is electrification and the road to nuclear power,” she said.

The Scandinavian country voted in a non-binding referendum in 1980 to phase out nuclear energy.

The country has shut down six of its 12 reactors in recent years, and the remaining ones at three nuclear power plants generate about 30 percent of the electricity consumed in the country today.

But it is struggling to find viable alternative energy sources to replace nuclear power as renewable energy cannot yet fully meet its needs.

The outgoing Social Democrat government, which has been in power for the past eight years, has traditionally opposed building new reactors but acknowledged earlier this year that nuclear power would be crucial for the foreseeable future.

The Swedish energy company Vattenfall therefore said in June that it was examining the possibility of building at least two small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).

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