Yesterday the Swedish parliament (Riksdagen) re-opened after the summer break. This is traditionally a huge ceremony with speeches and well dressed celebrities. The king is holding the opening speech declaring the parliamentary session opened.
The Prime Minister is giving a declaration about what the government wants to do the coming year, normally in rather vague word. This year was no exception. Reinfeldt promised that people who work full time will have thousand crowns more on their account after taxes compared to before the election. This promise was made already last summer and most people have got tax cuts but so far not the full amount.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. (Photo: Pawel Flato)
It is rather characteristic for these opening speeches that the most discussed issue afterward was what Reinfeldt did not say. He did not mention anything about Sweden being non-aligned. This is almost always done in these speeches and is considered being a symbolic important boost. The freedom from all kinds of military alliances has a firm support among the Swedes. Many see it as a major reason for the fact that Sweden has escaped being involved in any of the European wars since early 19th century. Reinfeldt says however that Sweden will not join NATO (which of course is the alliance every one is talking about); at least not until Finland does and the Social Democrats accept it. The reason he did not mention it, he says, is that it was mentioned last year, which was a declaration for the whole term.