The Sweden Democrats, a nationalist party in Sweden have caused the prime minister to lose a no confidence vote. Until their demands for influence on immigration, welfare and crime policy are met, the Sweden Democrats promise to sink and all governments formed by parliament there. Swedish voters backed the Sweden Democrats in the last election at much higher levels than ever before because they are concerned about the effects Europe’s most liberal immigration policy is having on their country. Reuters reports:
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats threatening to block any new government unless they are given a say in policy.
The rise of the far right across Europe has forced many traditional parties into an uncomfortable choice of sharing power with populist forces or reaching out to long-standing opponents to keep them out.
Sweden, long seen as a bastion of liberal values and political stability, now faces the same choice with its center-left and center-right blocs evenly balanced after the Sept. 9 election and the Sweden Democrats holding the balance of power.
If there is no viable government after four attempts by the speaker, then a new election would have to be called within three months, with the main parties likely to face a similar dilemma again.
Despite the uncertainty, markets barely reacted on Tuesday.
Sweden’s economy has enjoyed strong growth for years and government finances are strong. Economic policy is unlikely to shift radically under a new government and there is broad agreement about the need to tackle structural problems in areas such as housing and the labor market.
The crown has strengthened since the election.
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