On the Ground: Sweden

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By Annie Nylén, Foreign Student

The Croft Magazine // In our fifth pin drop, we go on the ground in Uppsala with student Annie Nylén, currently studying at the country's second most prestigious university. Sweden recently welcomed its first female prime minister.

The European Union put restrictions on travelling to some countries in southern Africa, but Sweden didn’t. We still party, there are no restrictions, and we obviously don’t have masks. The Brazilian variant was the big thing here, and it spread through, but nobody cares because the government says everything is normal.

In mid-July Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was forced to resign. He wasn’t a politician. Back in the day, when he was elected in 2014, we had problems with many of the Social Democrat leaders. I think, basically, he was brought in as he was so non-scandalous. He worked in industry in the north, where he’s from, and is a foster child. I believe his mother was an alcoholic, and that’s why his face looks weird. I do laugh about that, but I think he’s a bad public speaker… always very nervous. He was re-elected by parliament after the resignation but said he’d resign for good in November. Magdalena Andersson was the top candidate and was elected by parliament that month, sworn in by the king. For the Social Democrats to enjoy support in the run up to the election in September this year, they needed someone new to take over. There was also pressure to bring in a female prime minister, which we’ve never had before.

Magdalena Andersson resigned immediately after her appointment but ditched her coalition and was reaffirmed to lead a Social Democrat minority government the following week, governing on the opposition’s budget (drawn up by the Liberals, Moderates, Christian Democrats and extremist Sweden Democrats). Last summer, it was pretty clear the only person who could act as prime minister was Stefan Löfven. Now it’s clear the only member with a mandate is Magdalena Andersson. I like her. She studied at Harvard and is very competent. I don’t know what else could go wrong… though there are some scandals about Annika Strandhäll (the new Minister for the Environment) being bankrupt and in debt.

It’ll be dark in a few minutes, and we have snow. It’s very cold (-8C) and, in the midst of winter, it’ll get to -20C up here. We’re not even in the centre of Sweden, and only forty minutes by train from Stockholm (on their metro line). The national cathedral is here in Uppsala, and they held a huge event recently where the highest bishop held a mass apology to the Sami people for the role the Church played in their oppression, so my friend saw a few big Samis around town.

Featured Image: Epigram / Annie Nylén

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