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Sep 15, 2014

Sweden’s new leader reaches out to foes after shock far-right gains

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s center-left leader began efforts to forge a minority government by reaching out to his defeated center-right foes on Monday, a day after winning an election marked by big gains for an anti-immigrant party that now holds the balance of power.

Stefan Lofven’s 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.

Sep 15, 2014

Fractious politics to test new Swedish leader’s negotiating skills

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – At the height of the global financial crisis trade union leader Stefan Lofven, now set to become Sweden’s prime minister after Sunday’s election, did the unthinkable and cut a deal with employers agreeing pay cuts and shorter hours.

The deal, which some industrialists say helped many Swedish firms survive the crash, underscored the pragmatism and negotiating skills of Lofven, leader of the Social Democrats, who now faces the hard task of managing a minority government.

Sep 15, 2014

Sweden votes for minority left government, far right surges

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven emerged as victor in Sunday’s general election after a voter backlash against tax cuts and trimmed welfare by a centre-right government, but faced challenges forming a strong coalition as he fell short of a parliamentary majority.

The Nordic region’s biggest economy and one of the few star performers in Europe now faces a weak minority government with a possible political impasse as the anti-immigrant far right emerged as the third biggest party to hold the balance of power.

Sep 14, 2014

Sweden centre-left opposition holds lead in election – exit poll

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-left opposition was heading for an election victory on Sunday, an exit poll showed, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, schools and hospitals after eight years of tax cuts under the centre-right Alliance.

The Social Democrats, the largest single party with 31.1 percent in the state broadcaster SVT poll, hope to rule with the Green Party, with 7.1 percent.

Sep 14, 2014

Sweden votes with centre-left opposition holding narrow lead

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Polls showed Sweden’s centre-left opposition heading for a narrow election victory on Sunday, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, healthcare and schools after eight years of tax cuts under the centre-right Alliance.

The Social Democrats, the largest single party and polling around 30 percent, hope to rule with the Green Party. But even if opinion polls are born out, they are likely to rely on winning support from the Left Party and possibly smaller parties in the Alliance to form a government.

Sep 13, 2014

Sweden votes with center-left opposition targeting narrow lead

STOCKHOLM, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Sweden’s s center-left opposition appeared headed for a narrow election victory on Sunday, according to polls, on a platform of increased spending on job schemes, healthcare and schools after 8 years of tax cuts.

The Social Democrats, largest single party polling around 30 percent, hope to rule with the Green Party. But even if opinion polls are born out, they are likely to rely on winning support from the Left Party and possibly smaller parties in the current center-right government to form a government.

Sep 13, 2014

Polls show narrow opposition win in Sweden vote

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Final polls a day before Sweden’s general election predicted a narrow victory for the center-left opposition followed by a complex task in building a stable government after Sunday’s vote.

Saturday’s polls gave the Social Democrats, Greens and Left parties a lead of 5.3 and 5.7 percentage points over the ruling center-right government, a much narrower gap than the opposition had enjoyed until recently and short of a majority in the 349-seat parliament.

Sep 10, 2014

Trouble in paradise? Sweden risks deadlock in tight election race

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden, seen for years as a beacon of stability and reforms in a crisis-ridden Europe, may be heading for political deadlock after Sunday’s general election, with polls suggesting that both right and left might be unable to form a stable government.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s center-right coalition is battling an opposition alliance led by the Social Democrats. But neither group looks set to win a majority – putting them at the mercy of more radical leftist or far-right parties.

Sep 8, 2014

Electrolux takes on Whirlpool in U.S. with $3.3 billion GE Appliances buy

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s Electrolux (ELUXb.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it would double U.S. sales by paying $3.3 billion in cash for General Electric Co’s appliances business in its biggest ever deal, giving it the scale to go head-to-head with larger rival Whirlpool (WHR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

GE’s (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) century-old household appliance business, which had $5.7 billion in 2013 revenue, could help the Swedish company expand beyond its core European market where growth has trailed that in North America.

Sep 2, 2014

Sweden warns of rising immigration costs as election nears

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will not “shut the door” on record numbers of asylum seekers but they pose a growing financial burden, the country’s finance minister said, in comments that underscore voters’ concerns on immigration ahead of next month’s general election.

Open debate about the fiscal costs of immigration is new among liberal Sweden’s mainstream political parties, but opinion polls show support for the Sweden Democrats, who want to sharply cut the number of asylum seekers, has risen to 10 percent.