Swedes are tired of ‘political circuses’ after a chaotic day in Stockholm


After one of the most high-profile and chaotic days in modern Swedish political history, Magdalena Andersson – prime minister for just seven hours on Wednesday before she resigned – can agree on one thing with her opponents: the country’s politics are in shambles.

Within a day, all the tensions brewing over the past decade as a result of the rapid rise of the nationalist Swedish Democrats have erupted, highlighting the difficulties of forming a stable government in the Scandinavian nation’s fragmented political system.

First, at 10 a.m., Anderson, the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, was confirmed as prime minister despite losing the vote on her appointment because the opposition was unable to muster a majority to prevent her from taking office.

By 4pm, she was in deep trouble as her spending plans – drafted when she was the former coalition finance minister – were rejected. Instead, the budget drafted by the opposition, the anti-immigration Swedish Democrats, and two mainstream centre-right parties was adopted. It was the first time that a budget penned in part by a party that most Swedish politicians call the far right has passed.

An hour and a half later, Anderson’s government collapsed when the small Green Party quit the coalition, forcing the prime minister to resign.

“A lot of people are wondering what the hell is going on in Swedish politics right now,” said Ebba Bush, leader of the centre-right Christian Democrats. “This political circus is very bad for Sweden,” added Ulf Christerson, leader of her moderate ally and potential future prime minister.

Among all this chaos, Anderson has a chance at redemption. The same parties that backed her as prime minister indicated on Wednesday that they still support her. This means that she is likely to be reconfirmed as prime minister in the coming days, at the head of a one-party minority government.

Andreas Norlin, parliament speaker, said he would nominate Anderson for prime minister again on Monday, but in a furious outburst on Thursday criticized the Green Party, saying it “deeply regrets” the events of the previous day.

Some political experts believe the unrest could strengthen her party’s position. “A single democratic socialist government can get out of this mess we are in better,” said Jenny Madstam, a senior lecturer in politics at Söderthorn University. “It is easier for them to govern alone than a government by the Greens.”

All parties are now looking forward to national elections next September, which analysts see as the cause of Wednesday’s chaos as several groups aim to raise their profile. But it is by no means certain that new elections will solve Sweden’s fundamental problem: a fragmented political system in which the formation of a stable government has become a struggle.

“The big issue is the parliamentary situation, the weakness that we’ve seen for the past 10 years. As much as one can tell, it will be the same after the next election. It makes it difficult,” said Andreas Wahlström, head of forecasting at lender Swedbank. Lifting significant policy actions.”

Swedish companies were appalled by the government’s inability to tackle energy, infrastructure, housing and immigrant integration problems. “This government, as far as I know, has achieved very little in terms of policy in its seven years or more,” one senior executive said this month.

The political winds seem to be tilting to the right of the opposition, especially the nationalists. “The biggest victory for the Swedish Democrats since our founding is a fact,” said Matthias Karlsson, the party’s chief ideological thinker, posting pictures of him and the party leader drinking champagne yesterday.

The Swedish Democratic Party’s chief ideologist, Matthias Karlsson, has claimed that the events of the past few days have been the “biggest victory” for the party © Michael Campanella / Getty Images

Not only has their budget been embraced, but their major issues — escalating gang crime including shootings and bombings, as well as immigration — are a priority for voters. The Swedish Democrats also seem close to their goal of creating a conservative bloc with moderates and Christian Democrats.

Wednesday’s winners are the Swedish Democrats. The right side has a clear government alternative. “The issues are all in the right direction right now,” Madstam said.

Anderson has problems putting together a viable coalition government. Its supporting parties range from the former communist left to the nominal center-right center as well as the Green Party. The latter two fell into mutual accusations over Wednesday’s chaos, while the center refuses to let the left have any influence.

Stefan Lofven, Andersen’s predecessor and interim prime minister, succeeded in covering up the differences for seven years, but before the central elections, the left, and the Greens all want to increase their support.

However, Madam believes that the largest parties – the Social Democrats, the Moderates and the Swedish Democrats – benefit the most. “Voters see what happens when we have an unclear situation. They will think twice when they choose their party in the next election and think how Sweden can have a stable government.

Until then, Anderson may get a chance to start over as prime minister but with little prospect of enacting major reforms.

Wallstrom said he and many economists are frustrated by the lack of investment despite merger problems and rising crime. Sweden’s public finances are strong, with debt-to-GDP levels already back to pre-pandemic levels at around 35 per cent.

“We see the political cost of the weak economic policies of the past few years,” he added. extremist parties [the Left and Sweden Democrats] They gain votes. The ways to keep these extremists out of power is to improve the economic situation of many people, and we can afford to cut taxes and increase welfare spending.”



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