Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt slammed the Swedish government for supporting the European Union (EU) coronavirus bailout package, passed without the option to deny money to Hungary and other nations he claims are not protecting democracy.
“There is a very poor democratic development, especially in Hungary, but also Poland. We want the opportunity to withdraw support from the EU if democracy is not protected.”
“Particularly serious is that the EU committee was not sent the new weakened text on respect for the rule of law as a condition for support. The government said ‘yes’ to the text, despite the fact that the issue was raised again and again in the committee,” Sjöstedt said, according to SVT.
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Many Swedish politicians in various parties have been critical of the bailout agreement as it means Sweden will be paying an extra six billion kronor (£531 million/$676 million) to the European Union annually.
Jessica Stegrud, a member of the European Parliament for the populist Sweden Democrats (SD), was also against the bailout. She said: “The package saves the eurozone in the short term, moves more power to Brussels, indebts Swedish taxpayers, and does not make a dent in competitiveness or long-term growth.”
Hungary was initially sceptical over potential terms for bailout cash from the EU, with the head of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s office Gergely Gulyás saying the country would reject any conditions.
Prime Minister Orbán later claimed victory after the end of the negotiations, saying: “All attempts aimed at linking EU funds to rule of law criteria have been repelled.”
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He went on to add: “It is not acceptable that anybody, and especially those who inherited the rule of law, criticise us, the freedom fighters that did a lot against the communist regime in favour of rule of law.”
“I wish for all Hungarians that they never have a less successful morning than this one,” he said.