Sweden became the first European nation to vote for a left-wing government after a string of victories brought centre-right governments to power in France, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. On the table was the decision to vote for the left keep Sweden’s enviable social security system or to vote right, to reduce taxes.
Goran Persson was returned as Sweden’s Prime Minister, his Social Democratic Party gaining 144 seats in parliament as compared with 131 in 1998. The left block have 191 seats in parliament while the right have 174.
In the government alliance, the Green Party gained one seat (going from 16 to 17) while the Left Party (ex-Communists) saw their number of seats fall from 43 to 30. On the other side of the Riksdag (Parliament), the Liberal Party had a meteoric rise from 17 to 48 seats, using the issue of immigration as a banner, while the Moderates fell from 82 to 55 seats, the Christian Democrats likewise from 42 to 33. The Centre Party rose slightly from 18 to 22 seats.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969