Jonas Sjöstedt: Sweden will not leave the EU in the coming years

Validity is not well secured when the leaders of the left-wing party enter the citizen's office in Alby in Botkyrka south of Stockholm with four photographers in tow. Jonas Sjöstedt records the blue, yellow and white ballots of the party.

He estimates that many will follow his example in the 2018 election. In the August survey of DN / Ipso, the support for the left party is 9.5 percent – a clear increase in the 2014 elections when the party scored 5.6 percent. received.

"We believe that we will be the largest red party in different municipalities, we are willing to take over the municipal councilor in a number of municipalities and lead and direct the churches, but today we only do that in Degerfors, but it can be Pajala. it can be Malå, it can be Hallefors and it can be Göteborg, he says.

A party leader in the wind in the back has more mobility. In the party leadership interview of DN, Jonas Sjöstedt makes it clear that there are elements in the party program that he is prepared to ignore.

Formally the left party requires that Sweden will leave the EU. But Jonas Sjöstedt will not let the recording requirements run in the coming years.

"We have no EU withdrawal requirements in our selection platform, it is a choice that our party has made, not to eliminate that issue, he says.

Our EU criticism is not the same as SD & # 39; s. That is why we will never make common sense with them.

He describes the EU resistance of the Swedish Democrats as an important reason for the Left Party to abandon the obligation to leave the Union.

"Our EU criticism is not the same as theirs, so we will never do common things with them," he says.

He was also influenced by the Brexit campaign and negotiations on the exit of Great Britain.

"For me, the distinction between extremism and their view of the world is more important than the EU's resistance, and that choice is stronger for me, and I will never help them get under their wings," he says.

How comfortable are you with the inclusion requirement in your party program?

– I myself have not voted for EU membership. I was active in the referendum campaign. I wish we said no, that we were free from the EU. I think the arguments are still valid. But today we are not in a situation where I think we will consider this issue as one of the most important issues. I can not see that it is a success path.

When does the Left Party smooth out the requirement of EU withdrawal from the party program?

– The party program determines the party congresses. And they are the one who completely owns that question. No such change has been suggested. But I have been very clear in this election fight that this is not a problem that we will face in the coming years.

Moment. 16 March 2016, the Riksdag. Jonas Sjöstedt with the liberal party leader Jan Björklund.
Moment. 16 March 2016, the Riksdag. Jonas Sjöstedt with the liberal party leader Jan Björklund. "I had broken the ancestor and had just returned to parliament, although it had not been put in. I jumped on the plaster just as much as it went." Jan Björklund helped me with a cup of coffee here, and we have nothing wrong with each other. We can make a joke, the same with Ebba Busch Thor, but I'm probably happy with Annie Lööf, "says Jonas Sjöstedt. photo: Christine Olsson / TT

Select DN in the last party leadership interview Jonas Sjöstedt also distanced himself from the formulation of "racialization" in the party program 2016.

"It is, in other words, that others are supposed to say originally in other countries or on an appearance or name that ensures that you are not seen as Swedish in other eyes, I rarely use it myself. few years ago the party program was written and used, he says.

Concepts like & # 39; racialization & # 39; are often linked to the so-called identity policy – the idea that the opinions and interests of people are determined by the group to which they belong – such as gender, religion or ethnic background.

If you have that starting point, can you inadvertently end up in racist thought patterns?

– That risk exists. I do not think we're in the left party there. I think we are the least identity party in the entire Swedish party room. There is nobody who speaks so many right-handers and places it in the classroom like us.

Should the words of racial people weigh heavier in discussions about racism?

– No, I think you are entitled to opinions about things, even if you are not killed yourself. You have some experience if you are exposed to racism, which is important to listen to. But a kind of manual where some can participate in some debates, I do not buy it.

I think that left must end a alliance with liberal democrats to defend the fundamental values ​​of democracy

Jonas Sjöstedt became active in the national policy of the nineties and described it as a hopeful time in the world after the collapse of Soviet communism and apartheid regime.
Now he sees that a new kind of authoritarian right-wing nationalists is about to conquer power in many parts of the world.

"I see Putin as a typical, authoritative nationalist nationalist Erdogan is the same scrap and grain Trump is democratically elected, but his way of governing is very similar to the one we see in plowing in Hungary, Poland How can you attack free media? How can you ban certain political opinions? An incredibly worrying development, I think that the Left must end a covenant with liberal Democrats to defend the fundamental values ​​of democracy.

How would this alliance be built in Sweden?

"It is important that we are faced with a possible development in the authoritarian direction, I see the Swedish Democrats as an expression of it, I would like to sit down and talk to almost all other parties, for example about the status of the public service. About things we can do to further protect democratic rights and freedoms.

Which openings do you see for such a conversation?

"I think Annie Lööf would be open to it, we completely disagree with many links-left questions, but I feel very trustworthy in these questions.

Moment. 15 September 2014, the day after the elections. Jonas Sjöstedt is holding a press conference.
Moment. 15 September 2014, the day after the elections. Jonas Sjöstedt is holding a press conference. "I've just met Stefan Löfven when he said" you're not welcome in the government. "And in the next breath, he says," But maybe we can make a budget, will it go? "I even think that he fished to support our budget without affect … I knew it could happen, but the feeling of disappointment was just as strong, "says Jonas Sjöstedt. photo: Roger Turesson

Not only are the nationalists who make the headlines in the summer of 2018. According to the UN, 2.3 million people have moved the socialist regime in Venezuela. The oil field is in a deep economic crisis.

What do you think of developments in Venezuela?

"It is embarrassing and disastrous At the beginning of the Chávez period … It has always been controversial, focused on the person, but at the same time efforts have been made for health care, education and housing that gave many Venezuelans a better life. that is now destroyed and confused.

At the beginning of the Chávez period … It has always been controversial, focused on the person, but at the same time efforts have been made for health care, education and housing that gave many Venezuelans a better life.

Would you describe Venezuela as a dictatorship?

– Yes, it is at least at dusk. It is not a functioning democracy when you abuse the power of the state to suppress the opposition.

"Congratulations to Maduro and Venezuela!" Wrote Jonas Sjöstedt on Twitter in April 2013 when it became clear that Chávez & # 39; s successor Nicolás Maduro won the elections. At that time Human Rights Watch described the regime in Venezuela as authoritarian and fearful criticism of the silence.

What was it worth to be congratulated?

– Yes, finally nothing. I also wrote very clear articles in which I explained how badly we think the development is. I had hoped that there would be a form of democratization, a responsible concern for the economy, but it certainly did not happen. Deep debris is characterized by Venezuela.

What do you think of this tweet today?

– Yes, it belongs to one of my mistakes. I think Maduro has been an accident for his people.

Why do socialist systems often become authoritarian and anti-democratic?

"It can happen to both capitalist systems and socialists, and I think it is very difficult for the bourgeois to come to us by criticizing the way we deal with the economy in Sweden. Venezuela, I mean, it's totally irrelevant, we have no influence in Venezuela, we take full responsibility for the Swedish economy.

The Left Party makes the choice that economic inequality in Sweden must be reduced. But everything is not wrong.

When the DN Facts examined the development of socio-socially vulnerable residential areas in Sweden, it seems that more people can go to work and live less of support for the supply.

It is very sad to hear how SD's world view and rhetoric can be strengthened. And I think that the social-democratic migration game went that way.

How do you think you are in balance in rhetoric?

"We did not belong to the alarmists, we did not tear up the wolves, I think one of the reasons for the support now growing for the left party is that many have known that" no, we were not included here ". We did not start to look a bit like SD, like some others.

What is it that sounds like SD?

"Particularly the moderates and Christian Democrats, it is very sad to hear how SD's worldview and rhetoric can be strengthened, and I think the social democratic migration game went that way." You have the way of reasoning of the SD – it's about prosperity or we accept refugees. "I personally debated with Morgan Morgan on Twitter when he tried to post summer vacation cards that cost 100 million people to give asylum to people.

What did the refugee crisis mean for the left party?

"We are the party that has changed our policy at least.We stand for asylum rights.We stand for family reunification.We stand for a regulated immigration where someone can get a yes, one can get a no and both must be respected.

What opportunities do you see today for a retarder of the policy you are running?

"The problem of family reunification will be the most sensitive and important, it is related to the question of permanent residence, and I think there is a possibility.

Moment. August 16, 2017. Citizenship in Stockholm. Jonas Sjöstedt with Fatemeh Khavari, leader of the demonstrations against expulsions to Afghanistan.
Moment. August 16, 2017. Citizenship in Stockholm. Jonas Sjöstedt with Fatemeh Khavari, leader of the demonstrations against expulsions to Afghanistan. "It was very strong how they got together there, the Afghan youth, to see how they organized themselves and tried to speak to stay in Sweden and build their lives here, but they also talked a lot about contributing to Swedish society. That "we are your future work, we want to be part of your society." They have also met a lot of hatred, for me an incomprehensible hatred, "says Jonas Sjöstedt. photo: Lisa Mattisson

How do you know who won the elections on 9 September?

Maybe you know it a few weeks later. When the negotiation by the government is complete. We are on untouched land and weak ice.

What does your government alternative look like?

"We think it is clear that, if the red-green parties are bigger than the bourgeois alliances, Stefan Löfven is the governor, and we are prepared to be part of such a government if the policy is the right one. We are also open to budgetary cooperation with the political conditions as we have today.

It is a huge step to negotiate various social reforms that you have done, such as free glasses for children, and then behind everything that a government decides. Is the left party ready?

– Yes, we are. I think that in the budget negotiations we showed that we were probably one of the more prepared parties for what was to happen.

Jonas Sjöstedt points to three areas he wants to cancel in negotiations about government involvement or budget:

– The profit demand remains. The second is that economic policy as a whole increases equality in Sweden. And the third is that we have proposed a series of reforms, such as protection against high costs in oral care, a model for reducing the unreasonable interest costs of banks on loans and proposals for wage increases in female dominated professions.

Also read: Facts about the issue – Overcome companies in well-being?

Sometimes you might send a thank you to the moderates for that. We have succeeded well.

How could a non-civil minority government, supported by a minority on the Riksdag, get something done?

– It is a position we had during the last term of office. You want us to get even more done, but with the budget as an aid you can do a lot. We also say that we are willing to negotiate and talk with parties that are important for matters above the limit. Family reunification. Interest deduction. One of our goals is to enter into pension negotiations and to participate in defense negotiations.

What do you say to those who think that it is highly unlikely that you will get an influence?

– Then I say that "you said that last time, and then we did the opposite."

Your influence on the government was in practice guaranteed by the civil parties. What do you think?

– Sometimes you send a word of thanks to the moderates. We have succeeded well.

TV: this is the left party

In the party leadership interview of DN, Jonas Sjöstedt reveals that the red-brown collaboration has worsened last spring.

"We ended the cooperation with the Social Democrats with a negotiation that exploded, we had to make up for the infrastructure, about hundreds of billions, we could not accept new large highway projects and we wanted to invest more in the railways." Finally, Stefan Löfven said: " We're in trouble, we're driving on. "

What had happened if you had made it up?

"We wanted to get money from major new highways to expand the railways, not least the Norrland railway system, Norrbotniabanan, Inlandsbanan, but also other railway projects – it was a pure battle over the climate. who otherwise worked well in negotiations.

The left party wants Sweden to conduct a more offensive climate policy. Jonas Sjöstedt admits that this will have long-term consequences for Swedish meat and milk farmers.

"The climate is not resistant to our high meat consumption, we would rather see that the consumption of imported products decreases first, we think farmers should help the emergency crisis, but we want to remove subsidies for meat production.

Your advice to a Swedish farmer, what would it be?

"There are many farmers who are already changing their niche in the climate shortage, they think I have excellent prospects, the large-scale global trade in meat and dairy products is untenable, we will continue to drink milk. I think it will be smaller than before, but it is essentially produced in Swedish.

But if you want to extract methane emissions, should you also reduce meat production in Sweden?

– Yes, we can not go around for a change for us.

the place

Left party leader Jonas Sjöstedt meets in DN in Alby, Botkyrka, south of Stockholm. Here the red-green parties have the majority and the left party is part of the municipal government, but not without political conflicts. "This is an area where things are very good, but there are also big problems: low income, limited housing, millions of program areas sold to speculators," says Sjöstedt.

DN:s party leadership questions 2018

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