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Sweden: Stefan Löfven is Premier – but the right hand is the right one




Here's how the winners are presented in Sweden.

Stefan Lövfen, the old and new prime minister, shows an expression of suffering when the president of the Reichstag announces his re-election. The Social Democrat looks down, caresses the red tie, buttons his dark jacket, lets the applause of his faction overcome him. Then, with the shoulders hanging, he goes to the President of Parliament to collect the documents for the appointment. Not even for the photographer, the 61-year-old fights a smile. But no triumphant gesture, this is its purpose.

Löfven has just reached its three great goals.

  • In the first place, he assured himself and his social democrats the will to power: after a mixed election campaign and an endless struggle to form a government, the longest in post-war Swedish history.
  • Secondly, he managed to break the middle-right bourgeois alliance, the traditional antithesis of his center-left bloc.
  • And above all, it has prevented the Swedish democratic right (SD) from having a say in the fate of its country. For now at least.

But the election result of Löfven is negative. So bad that irritated citizens ask the Swedish media if everything is right. Only 115 of the 349 members of the Reichstag voted "yes" as head of the government, 153 voted "no", 77 pressed the yellow button to abstain; four were missing. But this was enough in Sweden for the legitimate election of a head of government.

The decisive factor is that no more than 50 percent of elected officials vote against the candidate – this is the principle of negative parliamentarism. And since most members of the Left Party, the bourgeois center party and the liberals were predominantly yellow, that is to say "abstention", it was enough for Löfven once again.

The yellow vote bought the beloved social-democrat. With a 73-point plan for a red-green minority government, in which numerous requests by the Central Party and the Liberals are:

  • So it should already in the next year the property tax for income from 703,000 crowns (just under 70,000 euros) abolished become a key request of the center party and its leader Annie Lööf. Furthermore, corporate taxes and employers' contributions should decrease.
  • To do this services connected to families tax even stronger than before favorite especially for the benefit of wealthy Swedes. Retirees also enjoy tax breaks.
  • the job market needs to deregulated to be. The new government wants to make it more attractive for companies to hire new people, including changing protection against dismissal; Critics speak of a softening of job protection.
  • the lease needs to liberalized to be; among other things, property owners can in some cases increase rent more easily than before.
  • Also the private schools it should be strengthened


Annie Lööf


JESSICA GOW / EPA-EFE / REX

Annie Lööf

"Some points are diametrically opposed to the promises of the Social Democrats," says the Scandinavian researcher Sven Jochem, professor of political science at the University of Constance. "In the electoral campaign, they announced the end of many tax cuts to strengthen the welfare state". After all, he made a particularly clear ruling on the Labor Party electoral votes in the 73-point plan: the so-called Family Week. Parents of children between the ages of 4 and 16 receive extra leave once a year, initially three days off and another five.

Among other things, the Green supporters plan is to stop the sale of cars with petrol engines in 2030. It also prohibits the extraction of coal, natural gas and oil; In addition, a tax should be collected on certain chemicals polluting fabrics and shoes.

If all this guarantees a stable government it is highly debatable. The red-green coalition does not even have a third of the 349 seats in the Reichstag. He must look for new supporters for each project. The leader of the Left Party – who only decided at the last moment not to vote against Löfven to keep the right-wing SD from power – is offering a no-confidence motion if the government wants to deregulate the labor market or intervene in the law on the lease. But both are central concerns of the Center and the liberals. And they could withdraw their support from Löfven if they do not act here.

The fear of a recovery of the right is growing

"Löfven must now demonstrate enormous negotiating skills to keep this government in power," says political scientist Jochem. Only 31% of citizens believe they can succeed, according to an investigation by the SVT TV station; 44 percent prophesy the premature end. On the other hand, opposition leader Ulf Kristersson has difficulty with moderate conservatives, lost the center and the liberals, his traditional allies. The bourgeois alliance is the story above all.


The head of the Swedish democrats Jimmie Akesson


DPA

The head of the Swedish democrats Jimmie Akesson

131 days took the power of poker in Stockholm. "And there's only one part that has benefited from all the sobs: the SD," says Jochem. "Now he can say: we are excluded, we are the only true opposition party". In opinion polls, the extreme right has already surpassed the Moderate of Kristerson and is in second place behind the Social Democrats. "You have a good chance of becoming the strongest party in the right spectrum at the next election, perhaps even the strongest overall strength," says Jochem.

When the election to the Reichstag is over and the deputies pour out of the House, Löfven allows the leaders of the other parties to take the initiative. Only then does he even appear in the press room in front of the cameras. Accept the commission "with humility and determination", he explains. "It's time for the real work to start at the Reichstag". Speak for 18 minutes and answer questions. So leave the room. Without a smile or a gesture of victory. The work is waiting.


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