Swedish political storm over rent reform

Prime Minister “Stefan Löfven has 48 hours to act,” Left Party Chair Nooshi Dadgostar told a press conference Tuesday. [EPA-EFE/Mika Schmidt]

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has been given 48 hours to resolve a spat over draft legislation aimed at liberalising the rental market by the leader of opposition Left Party Nooshi Dadgostar, who threatened to otherwise withdraw support from the Social Democrat-Green minority government.

The ultimatum comes after the government and two opposition parties, the Christian Democrats and the Moderate Party, agreed on a draft bill to liberalise the rental market in a bid to ease the housing shortage. Rents would be based on negotiations between landlords and tenants. The new system would be applied to flats built after 2022.

However, the Left Party sees the plan as increasing tenants’ insecurity. Dadgostar’s threat on Tuesday (15 June) could be seen as an attempt to topple Löfven’s government ahead of elections scheduled for 2022.

A manoeuvre to oust the government would need help from the right-centre parties, however. But as the polls are currently working in their favour, creating political upheaval 15 months before the election would serve no purpose.

The only possible ally available for the Left Party would be the Sweden Democrats, but such an alliance could prove detrimental for both parties. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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