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Minority government forms in Sweden, aims to cap benefits

The leader of Sweden’s Moderates, Ulf Kristersson, said on Friday he aimed to form a three-party minority government with support from the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats after the right-wing bloc won a majority in last month’s election.

The new government plans to cut taxes, begin the process for building new nuclear power plants, cap benefits, tighten immigration rules and give police more powers as part of a policy deal with the Sweden Democrats.

“Change is not only necessary, change is also possible, and we four parties together can offer that change,” Mr Kristersson, told reporters.

The new government will make it harder for new immigrants to get social benefits while the overseas aid target of 1 percent of gross national income will be replaced by a fixed sum.

Police will be able to take tougher measures against criminal gangs and sentences for gang crimes will be longer.

The Swedish PM candidate will face a confirmation vote on Monday which he is almost certain to pass.

However, his party’s junior status could make governing over the next four years extremely difficult as he will have to rely on both the Sweden Democrats and Liberals, who disagree strongly on many policies.

Sweden is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and could be heading for recession next year, while Russia’s war in Ukraine has destabilised the Baltic region – Sweden’s backyard. At the same time, Turkey could still block the country’s application to join NATO.

In the election on September 11, the right-wing bloc secured a slim majority, winning 176 seats in the 349-member parliament.

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