Swedish Liberals say ready to work with center left after vote

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 16, 2014 9:13 AM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's Liberal Party, one of the four members of the government coalition, is willing to cooperate in certain areas with a government led by the center-left Social Democrats, the parliamentary group leader Johan Pehrson, said on Tuesday.

Stefan Lofven, leader of the Social Democratic party which emerged victorious in Sunday's general election, has repeatedly said that he wants to "extend a hand" to the Liberal and Centre Party to get broad support for his new government.

"If Social Democrats wants to talk about nuclear power or education, then we are willing to listen", Pehrson said to Reuters.

The Social Democrats and two other left-leaning parties garnered more votes than the outgoing center-right Alliance of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Sunday's election, but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

The far-right Sweden Democrats, which included neo-Nazi supporters among its early founders and wants to cut immigration by 90 percent, has emerged as the third-largest party after doubling their share of the vote to 13 percent. Mainstream parties have all refused to deal with it.

Pehrson said that the Liberl and Social Democrat Party two already have made agreements for many years in security, pensions and EU policy.

"I'm looking forward to continue that cooperation," he said.

Pehrson said the Liberal Party would still be in opposition to a center left government even though they could cooperate on some bills.

(Reporting by Johan Sennero; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)