EUObserver ticker gives the news baldly:
Sweden's minority Social Democrat government may fall on Wednesday, prompting new elections, after only two months in office. The political crisis results from the far-right Sweden Democrat party announcing its support for the centre-right Alliance opposition bloc's alternative 2015 budget. The Alliance and the far-right hold a majority together.Reuters gives us more in a more up-to-date story:
Sweden will hold its first snap election for more than half a century in March after a far-right party helped defeat the center-left minority government's first budget in parliament on Wednesday.Of course, shunning a party that has some electoral support is never a good idea but the Swedish main-stream parties are not the first to make that mistake.
Formed after a fractured September election that handed the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats the balance of power, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's Social Democrat-Green coalition has been widely viewed as Sweden's weakest government in decades.
Shunned by mainstream parties, the Sweden Democrats have threatened to make Sweden effectively ungovernable unless the country adopts tough immigration policies like those of nearby Denmark, including a 90 percent cut in asylum seeker numbers.
The issue here is not anything seriously evil but whether Sweden should continue its open door immigration policy, given that it puts the famed Swedish welfare model under strain and has caused a number of problems with communities that have no intention to integrate into the Swedish society. Indeed, some have demanded that Swedish society should adjust to their standards.
At the very least, this should be debated and, as things stand, the Sweden Democrats are making sure it will be.
The rise of the Sweden Democrats has also threatened to break a decades-old agreement across the political spectrum on an open door policy for refugees. Former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has called Sweden a "humanitarian superpower".It is entirely possible that the instability caused by a certain blindness on the part of the main stream parties will continue after the next election. It is all a new experience for Sweden.
Mattias Karlsson, the acting head of the Sweden Democrats, vowed his party would turn the upcoming election into "a referendum for or against increased immigration to Sweden".
Sweden was the biggest per-capita recipient of asylum seekers and refugees last year, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Some readers might like to recall what was on this blog on the subject in September.