With a week to go until the general election, the Social Democrats in Sweden are neck and neck in the polls with the centre-right opposition. In a televised debate, the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson went head to head with his rival Frederick Reinfeldt who leads the Moderate Party. In power for the last twelve years, the Social Democrats have criticised their opponents plans to lower taxation, a political hot potato in the country which carries the world’s highest tax burden.
The Moderate Party, for its part, wants to seduce the floating voters in the centre of the political spectrum. Proposed measures for getting the unemployed back into work form part of their campaign. Unemployment is the most important issue in the Scandinavian country, but the figures vary greatly. Official statistics claimed it ran at 6 percent last July, but other experts and the opposition parties claim the true figure is much higher.