Tuesday, September 19, 2006

REFLECTIONS ON THE SWEDISH ELECTION

Fredrik Reinfeldt, the new prime minister in making, said the following at his first day at work:

Fredrik Reinfeldt met Björn von Sydow in the Riksdag first thing on Tuesday, and told the speaker of Sweden's parliament that he wanted to lead a majority government. (TheLocal.se, 09/19/06.)


Here are some reactions from the international press. The members of the Tories in the U.K. are getting new hope and the socialists around Europe are not feeling as safe as before. The government in Denmark has now got a "sister."

Here is an excerpt from The Korea Times (Sweden's Case: Belated Arrival of Globalization in Welfare Paradise), zooming in on the real problem.

The center-left's setback after a decade in power is due to high unemployment and low public-sector efficiency. This is natural in some ways for a country where unemployment benefits account for up to 80 percent of salaries and "too many people" work for the government and state firms. Not a few would rather remain idle if the income gap remained at just 20 percent, while the government takes half of earned income as taxes. The center-right's alternative came at the right time. (Times.Hankooki.com, 06/19/06.)


I am glad to see that the Pirate Party failed to enter the Parliament. Here in my hometown, I see warning signs that the Social Democrats are still in power and that another socialist party got a seat in Gothenburg. I will write more about the local politics in the near future.

UPDATE: Rob Sama sent me a note with a link to an article in the Wall Street Journal. I am not sure that the Alliance headed by Fredrik Reinfeldt, will take inspiration from Margaret Thatcher, not at least in an explicit way. You are welcome to send me more news articles and other stuff that you think could be of interest.